Solar Philippines raising Php1.3B via IPO to fund Nueva Ecija solar ranch


Solar Philippines announced it aims to raise Php1.3 billion through the initial public offering (IPO) of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation (SPNEC), which is developing a 500-megawatt (MW) project, dubbed as a “solar ranch,” in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija

The proceeds will serve as the equity for the construction of the project’s first 225MW. Solar Philippines would then seek further financing to complete the 500MW, which it claims would be larger than any solar project operating in Southeast Asia today, and larger than the combined total of all non-Solar Philippines solar projects operating in Luzon in the latest list published by the Department of Energy (DOE).

The Leandro Leviste-led firm said it aims to expand the project beyond this capacity amid the country’s growing demand for renewable energy (RE). 

“We’ve decided to make Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation our group’s first venture into the public markets because this is the asset that we are proudest to showcase: a site where will rise the largest solar project in the Philippines, with potential for further expansion given its proximity to Manila,” Leviste, Solar Philippines’ founder, said in a statement. 

The company aims to list under the Supplemental Listing and Disclosure Requirements for RE Companies approved by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in 2011. These rules allow development-stage project companies to list, subject to certain requirements including having a valid and subsisting service contract awarded by the DOE. 

“The PSE showed great foresight in creating this program for RE companies. Through this offering, we hope to give the public a new option to invest in RE, and expand RE in the Philippines,” Leviste said. 

Solar Philippines is still finalizing its timeline for the IPO.

SPNEC was incorporated in 2017, and since then has been securing land and permits for its project. The company plans to start construction of the project before the end of 2021. Once operational, the project is intended to supplement the Luzon grid’s thin reserves and help prevent the rotating outages that affected millions of Filipinos earlier this year. 

Upon the project’s completion, Nueva Ecija would host the largest of five utility-scale Solar Philippines projects planned to be operational by 2022.

The company owns the 63MW Calatagan solar farm in Batangas, one in Tarlac that’s being expanded to up to 200MW in partnership with Prime Infra of the Razon Group, and another two in Batangas and Cavite with a combined capacity of 140MW planned to be fully operational by 2022.

Aside from solar itself, Solar Philippines is into wind ventures, with its 200MW project also in Calatagan recently endorsed by the DOE to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for system impact study.