AC Energy looking to venture into gas-fired power, energy storage

AC ENERGY, Inc. is looking to explore opportunities in gas-fired power generation and energy storage as it sees these resources as complementing renewable energy projects by 2025, its top official said.

The move comes as shareholders of Phinma Energy Corp. on Tuesday approved the management’s plan to rename the listed firm to AC Energy Philippines, Inc.

“Our vision for AC Energy Philippines is to be the leader in renewable energy in the country. Our goal is to reach 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewables by 2025. We will be building on a combined platform with over a 500-person strong team with significant experience in development and operations,” Eric T. Francia, AC Energy Philippines president and chief executive officer.

In January this year, AC Energy announced it was taking control of Phinma Energy through a “mutually strategic agreement” that gives the Ayala-led company a 51.48% stake in the listed energy company for P3.42 billion. The acquisition was completed on June 24.

Mr. Francia, who is also president and chief executive of the parent firm AC Energy, told shareholders during their annual meeting that the subsidiary would embark on a “transformational journey” in the next few years “with clear strategic priorities.”

“First, we will strengthen the company’s balance sheet. In order to capture this growth opportunities and compete effectively, we propose to increase the company’s balance sheet and capital base,” he said.

Aside from the change in name, shareholders approved on Tuesday Phinma Energy’s plan to increase its capitalization to P24.4 billion from P8.4 billion.

“Second, we will invest in strategic assets. With an increased capital base, we will consolidate key operating developmental assets such as SLTEC (South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.) as well as our renewable energy pipeline,” he said.

SLTEC is a joint venture of AC Energy, Phinma Energy and Marubeni Corp.’s Axia Power Holdings Philippines Corp. Commercial operations for the thermal power plant’s first unit started in April 2015, while the second unit was completed in February 2016. SLTEC’s circulating fluidized bed thermal plant has two units each with a capacity of 122 MW.

“Consolidating the ownership of SLTEC will enable the company to withstand market volatilities and compete for the long term,” Mr. Francia said. “We shall also invest in greenfield projects, with the strong emphasis on renewable energy.”

Mr. Francia said with the government’s target of renewables reaching 35% of energy output by 2030, the country would need to build more than 15 gigawatts — or 15,000 MW — of renewables in the next decade.

“We will make significant investments in this space,” he said. “With the future scaling up of renewables and with the variable nature of its output, renewables would have to be complemented by other low carbon technologies such as gas-fired generation and/or energy storage.”

He said the company would explore opportunities in these areas.

Mr. Francia said Phinma Energy subsidiary Phinma Petroleum and Geothermal, Inc. (PPG) has an interest in oil and gas exploration service contracts off the west Palawan coast.

“Our subsidiary, PPG has an interest in oil and gas exploration service contracts of the west Palawan coast. We plan to further develop the gas field prospect in line with the country’s effort to find the next indigenous source after Malampaya,” he said.

On Tuesday, shares in Phinma Energy fell 6.69% to P2.65 each, while PPG dropped by 4.37% to P9.20 each.

Read more at: https://www.bworldonline.com/ac-energy-looking-to-venture-into-gas-fired-power-energy-storage/