By Myrna M. Velasco

The energy investment unit of Ayala Corporation will be doubling the capacity of its Sidrap wind farm development in South Sulawesi, Indonesia to 150 megawatts from currently at 75MW.

Eric T. Francia new file photo - Ayala expanding wind power project in Indonesia

AC Energy President and CEO Eric T. Francia

In an interview with reporters, AC Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia indicated “there’s expansion potential for Sidrap – we can double the capacity of Sidrap from 75 to 150MW.”

The expansion project, he said, is currently being discussed profoundly with partner-firm UPC Renewables. For the South Sulawesi wind farm development, the joint venture entity is PT UPC Sidrap Bayu Energi (UPC Sidrap).

Apart from the targeted Sidrap wind capacity scale up, Francia noted the company also has several off-grid targets in the pipeline for several islands in Indonesia.

“We have set of renewables with UPC Renewables, the island-projects – hybrid projects whether it’s a combination of solar, wind and probably storage or diesel in many small islands,” the Ayala executive said.

To firm up these investment prospects on blueprint, he qualified that discussions are ongoing with Indonesia’s state-owned power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) for off-take (capacity purchase) arrangements, primarily that of the wind facility expansion.

Francia noted there are also conditions to be satisfied on investment for the island-grids in Indonesia, thus, that is a key part of serious talks they have been pursuing with government.

The timeline for the targeted investments, he emphasized, will be decided once the political condition in Indonesia settles — as an aftermath of its recent general election.

Indonesia is considerably the first offshore investment market that the Ayala group had plunged into when it comes to its energy investments.

In 2016- 2017, AC Energy joined the consortium that acquired the geothermal assets of American energy giant Chevron in Indonesia. The Ayala firm has 20-percent equity in Star Energy (Salak-Darajat) B.V., the corporate vehicle in that merger and acquisition (M&A) deal.

The overseas capacity build-up of the Ayala group will form part of the 5,000MW capacity it has been intending to put on stream until year 2025 – the other half of that will be project developments in the Philippines.

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