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Philippines’ Ayala Corp. Unit, Partner To Invest $220 Million In Indian Solar Energy Project

By News Creatives Authors , in Billionaires , at January 31, 2022

AC Energy—a unit of billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala’s Ayala Corp.—and partner UPC Solar Asia Pacific are investing $220 million to build a solar farm in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The 420-megawatt peak solar farm can generate up to 691 gigawatt hours of electricity annually and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions in India’s fifth most populous state by 635,720 metric tonnes every year, AC Energy said Monday in a statement.

AC Energy and UPC are seeking a 20-year loan from the State Bank of India to fund 75% of the Masaya Solar project, the duo’s third and largest solar development in the country. The partners, which have already built 630-megawatt peak of solar electricity generating capacity across India, will contribute the rest of the funding.

“The success of our maiden projects, both reaching operational status in the second quarter of 2021 despite the tumultuous Covid-19 crisis, bodes well for the 420-megawatt peak Masaya Solar project,” Patrice Clausse, head of AC Energy’s international group said in a statement. Once completed, Masaya Solar will supply electricity to state-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India under a 25-year contract.

AC Energy has been stepping up its investments in solar energy to achieve its goal of becoming the largest listed renewable energy platform in Southeast Asia. It has over 3,000 megawatts of attributable electricity generating capacity across Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, with another 18,000 megawatts being developed organically and with various partners across the region.

The company is about 72% owned by Ayala Corp., which traces its roots to the Spanish colonial era. In 1834, billionaire Jaime Zobel de Ayala’s grandfather started a distillery in Manila and then expanded into banking, hotels, real estate and telecommunications.

Ayala, 87, was ranked the country’s fifth-richest person with a net worth of $3.3 billion when the list of the Philippines’ 50 Richest was published in September. He retired in 2006, and his eldest son Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who had been the CEO of Ayala Corp. since 1994, succeeded him as chairman. Last year, Fernando Zobel de Ayala took over as CEO, while his elder brother Jaime Augusto continues to serve as chairman. Fernando is also the chairman of AC Energy.

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