December 23, 2016 at 07:45 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
A unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp. and its Indonesian and Thai partners are purchasing the geothermal assets of Chevron Corp. in the Philippines and Indonesia for an undisclosed price.
AC Energy Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corp. and part of an Indonesian consortium, and a separate Filipino group signed an agreement to buy Chevron’s assets.
AC Energy said in a statement it signed the sale transaction with Chevron Global Energy Inc., Union Oil Co. of California and their units.
The Indonesia consortium consists of AC Energy, with a 19.8-percent economic stake, Star Energy Group Holdings Pte. Ltd., Star Energy Geothermal Pte. Ltd. and Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand.
The consortium formalized the acquisition through a joint venture company, Star Energy Geothermal (Salak-Darajat) B.V. of Indonesia.
The Philippine consortium, meanwhile, consists of AC Energy and Star Energy Group Holdings Pte. Ltd. The Philippine group is making the purchase through a joint venture company, Acehi-Star Holdings Inc.
Energy Development Corp. of the Lopez Group, with partners Mitsui and Kyushu of Japan, and Aboitiz Power Corp. also joined the bidding for Chevron’s geotehrmal assets in Asia.
The SM Group of retail tycoon Henry Sy, however, has a right of first refusal over the Philippine assets of Chevron. The SM Group owns 60 percent of Philippine Geothermal Production Co. Inc., which develops and produces steam energy for the 692-megawatt Tiwi and Mak-Ban geothermal power plants. Chevron has a 40 percent interest in PGPC.
AC Energy said the closing of the transaction was subject to the satisfaction of certain agreed conditions.
It is also contingent to obtaining certain consents and approvals, including that of the Philippine Competition Commission.
“This acquisition is a major milestone for AC Energy as this scales up our renewable energy platform and establishes our presence in Indonesia. This is a significant step towards attaining our goal of reaching 2000 9megawatts) by 2020,” AC Energy president and chief executive officer John Eric TFrancia said.
Chevron subsidiaries operate the Darajat and Salak geothermal fields in West Java, Indonesia, with a combined capacity of 235 MW equivalent of steam and 402 MW of electricity.
In the Philippines, Chevron units have a 40 percent equity interest in the Philippine Geothermal Production Company Inc., which operates the Tiwi and Mak-Ban geothermal field in Southern Luzon and supplies steam to power plants with a combined capacity of around 700 MW.
Clifford Chance Pte Ltd. acted as the lead transaction counsel to the consortium. Credit Suisse, meanwhile, served as the sole financial advisor and joint financier to the consortium. Bank of the Philippine Islands and DBS of Singapore acted as lead coordinators for the debt financing.
AC Energy is the development arm of the Ayala Group in the energy sector. The company is building a portfolio of power generation assets using renewable and conventional technologies.
AC Energy earlier committed to invest close to P80 billion to bring its capacity to 2,000 megawatts in the next five years.