ACEN ups stake in Ilocos wind farms

ACEN NLREC & NW North Luzon Renewables & Northwind Bangui Windmills (Dusk)

AC Energy (ACEN), the Ayala group’s energy platform, will be increasing its ownership in its wind farm projects in Ilocos Norte, while also taking over its joint ventures with UPC Renewables in the Philippines, all amounting to Php5.59 billion.

The company’s board on Monday approved the acquisition of its partner’s 32.2% share in the Northwind Power Development Corporation for Php1.09 billion, giving Ayala full ownership of the 52-megawatt (MW) Bangui Windmills, Southeast Asia’s first wind farm, from 68% previously.

In turn, Northwind will subscribe to up to 90 million shares of ACEN at Php11.32 per share. The Bangui Windmills, which began operating in 2005, is ACEN’s first renewable energy (RE) project.

ACEN will also acquire the ownership of UPC Philippines and a certain Stella Marie L. Sutton in various energy companies. These include all of UPC’s interests in North Luzon Renewables which owns the 81MW Caparispisan wind farm and Bayog Wind Power Corporation, which owns the 160MW Balaoi and Caunayan wind farm projects — all in neighboring Pagudpud town — as well as various RE projects under development.

The said assets will be bought for Php4.5 billion. UPC Philippines, in turn, will subscribe to up to 390 million shares of ACEN, also at Php11.32 apiece.

With the acquisition of UPC Philippines’ shares, ACEN will take full ownership of the Balaoi and Caunayan wind farm project from 85% previously and raise its stake in the Caparispisan wind farm to 78% from 67%. 

ACEN’s takeover of the UPC joint venture also includes the multinational firm’s renewable development pipeline totalling 1,300MW.

“We have had excellent relationship and outcomes with our partners from Northwind and UPC Philippines, and would like to thank our partners for the trust and collaboration all these years. These transactions enable us to leverage synergies across the ACEN portfolio and allow our partners to benefit from ACEN in the long long-term,” ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said in a statement.

“As we set our sights on expanding our scale and efficiency, these acquisitions will prove to be an important catalyst in meaningfully expediting the shift to renewables. The additional 1,300MW of renewables pipeline and expanded operations will accelerate our sustainable growth towards developing high value [RE] projects,” said ACEN Chief Development Officer Jose Maria Zabaleta.

On Monday, AC Energy also approved the buyout of its RE joint ventures with UPC in Australia. The company aims to build a 5,000MW all-RE portfolio by 2025.

In a separate disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ACEN said it also approved a joint venture with CleanTech Global Renewables, Inc. for the 200 megawatt direct current Lal-lo Solar Power Project in Cagayan.