ACEN—controlled by the Philippines’ oldest conglomerate, Ayala Corp.—said Tuesday it will take a 24% stake in a $1 billion wind power project being constructed in Laos, a first in the country.
Being built with international partners including Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. and Thailand’s Bangchak Corp. unit BCPG Pcl and Impact Electrons Siam in the southeastern Lao provinces of Sekong and Attapeu, the 600-megawatt power plant will start commercial operations in 2025 and supply electricity to Vietnam under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Dubbed Monsoon Wind, the project is the first cross-border wind project in Southeast Asia. It is funded by the Asian Development Bank, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank.
“Vietnam has significantly scaled up solar and wind [power] over the last few years which made it an ideal place for sustainable investments,” Patrice Clause, CEO of ACEN International, said in a statement. “Power demand in the country is recovering strong post-Covid, and the [agreement] between Laos and Vietnam unlocks a new avenue of providing more power to Vietnam, while serving as a catalyst for more cross-border power sharing in the region.”
Since 2017, ACEN has been building solar and wind farms across Vietnam where it has stakes in power plants with a combined electricity generating capacity of 637 megawatts. The company has invested in projects across Australia, India and the Philippines in pursuit of its goal to produce 20 gigawatts of electricity from clean energy technologies by 2030.
ACEN is one of the subsidiaries of Ayala Corp., which traces its roots to 1834 when the Philippines was a colony of Spain. The conglomerate started as a distillery in Manila and then expanded into banking, hotels, real estate and telecommunications.
Jaime Zobel de Ayala, 88, was ranked the country’s eighth-richest person with a net worth of $2.55 billion when the list of the Philippines’ 50 Richest was published in August. The family patriarch 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.