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ACEN set to triple investments in Australia’s energy transition

ACEN Corp. is on track in its renewable energy expansion in Australia and is poised to triple its investments in the country’s energy transition, the Ayala-led company’s top official said.

“ACEN fully supports Australia’s energy transition, and the company is gearing up to triple its Australia investments in the next three years,” ACEN President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said in an e-mailed media release on Sunday.

Mr. Francia made the statement as President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed a strategic partnership agreement on Friday to boost the two countries’ bilateral ties.

The partnership was concluded during the visit to the Philippines of Mr. Albanese, the first Australian leader to do so in 20 years.

The move is part of Australia’s launch of “Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040,” which includes seeking mutual trade and investment opportunities in key sectors in the Philippines such as agriculture and food, education and skills, resources, and the clean energy transition.

ACEN quoted Mr. Albanese as saying that he met with Mr. Francia and that the renewable energy company currently has 2 billion Australian dollars (AUD) of investments in the foreign country.

“They have a large presence in New England region, in Tasmania, as well as investment coming in Western Australia in the Pilbara,” Mr. Albanese was said to have commented in an interview.

“They expect that investment to increase to 6 billion AUD in three years — a substantial investment in Australian renewables, putting online something like three gigawatts of additional capacity in the Australian energy market,” he said, describing ACEN as a “significant company which is making a difference and wants to make more of a difference.”

After a brief meeting with Mr. Albanese on the partnership signing in Malacañang, Mr. Francia renewed the company’s commitment to expand in Australia.

The Australian government is currently rolling out a 20-billion AUD program called “Rewiring the Nation” to upgrade and modernize the country’s electricity grid and infrastructure.

“ACEN appreciates the government’s efforts to augment the much-needed transmission capacity to enable the growth of renewables. Our projects are particularly reliant on the Central West Orana renewable energy zone and the Marinus link transmission projects, among others,” Mr. Francia said.

To date, ACEN has around 4,200 megawatts of attributable capacity spread across the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and Australia. The energy company is targeting to expand its renewable energy portfolio to 20 gigawatts by 2030.

On Friday, shares in the company went up by two centavos or 0.4% to P5.01 apiece. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

Neil Banzuelo

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