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ACEN: Paving the Way for a Renewable Future

May 14, 2023 Ignacio "Toting" Bunye 355 views

Ignacio BunyeACEN, the energy platform of the esteemed Ayala Group, has proven its mettle by overcoming numerous challenges in 2022 and emerging with a strong start to the new year. Fueled by a remarkable growth in generation output, the company is now reaping the rewards of its investments in renewable energy. Under the capable leadership of President and CEO Eric Francia, ACEN is well on its way to achieving its ambitious goal of reaching 20 GW of renewables by 2030.

The first quarter of 2023 brought excellent news for ACEN as it reported a staggering five-fold increase in net income, soaring to an impressive P2 billion. With approximately 4,200 MW of capacity from owned facilities across the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, ACEN boasts an enviable renewable energy share of 98%, setting a high standard in the region.

On May 4, ACEN proudly announced a 23% rise in consolidated revenues for the first quarter, reaching P9.1 billion. This growth was primarily driven by enhanced net generation, courtesy of improved wind resources and the successful commissioning of new power plants in the Philippines and Australia. ACEN’s commitment to expanding its renewable energy initiatives has yielded significant results.

While transitioning to a modest net selling merchant position, ACEN faced increased borrowing and overhead costs due to the accelerated expansion of its renewable energy projects. Nevertheless, the company’s consolidated income experienced a remarkable five-fold growth compared to the previous year, reaching P2.0 billion in the first quarter. This demonstrates ACEN’s ability to adapt and thrive in a changing market landscape.

The attributable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also showcased an impressive 76% increase, amounting to P4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2023. Notably, ACEN’s Philippine operations contributed P1.9 billion to EBITDA, marking a remarkable 188% year-on-year growth, while international EBITDA rose by 38% to P2.8 billion. These figures highlight ACEN’s strong performance on both domestic and global fronts.

In addition to its financial success, ACEN has been actively pursuing strategic partnerships to further its renewable energy endeavors. The collaboration with BrightNight, a US-based company, opens doors for renewable projects in India, while the acquisition of eight operational wind projects in Texas from PivotGen signals ACEN’s entry into the thriving American renewables market. These ventures position ACEN as a key player on the international stage.

ACEN’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is commendable. The company recently completed its net-zero roadmap, solidifying its position as the first energy company in Southeast Asia to achieve this significant milestone.

ACEN understands the importance of reducing its environmental footprint and has implemented initiatives to lower resource consumption and recycle materials throughout the life cycle of its power plants.

One notable initiative is ACEN’s pioneering efforts to eliminate plastic waste at its solar plant construction sites. By adopting a circular approach, ACEN is actively working to make these sites plastic waste-free. Plastic waste collected from solar module packaging is recycled into eco-bricks, which are then utilized in constructing solar plant facilities. This innovative solution showcases ACEN’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Moreover, ACEN’s dedication to operational excellence and environmental responsibility is evident in its attainment of the Integrated Management System (IMS) certification for nine of its plants in the Philippines. Verified by DQS Certification Philippines, Inc., a renowned certification body, ACEN’s plants have met the rigorous standards set by the ISO 14001:2015 certification for Environmental Management System (EMS). Plant employees undergo comprehensive training to ensure effective implementation of the EMS. All departments undergo annual internal audits to maintain ISO standards for operational systems. Going forward, newly operating solar projects, such as Alaminos Solar, Palauig Solar, the ACEN Tech Hub, and others, are actively working on establishing internal systems and continuous improvement programs, with the goal of achieving IMS Certification in the coming years.

The current ACEN board of directors is composed of Delfin Lazaro, Chairman; Cezar “Bong” Consing, Vice-Chairman; John Eric Francia, President/CEO, Directors Jose Rene Gregory Almendras, Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Nicole Goh Phaik Khim, and Independent Directors Dean Travers, Garry Lester, Melinda Ocampo, Jesse Ang, and Maria Lourdes Heras-de Leon.