Ayala energy unit withdraws from oil and mining exploration


AC Energy Corp. (Acen), the energy platform of the Ayala Group, has obtained the green light from the regulator to abandon oil exploration and exploitation from its activities as it continues the global program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse that destroy the climate.

In a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Acen said the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval of amendments to its articles of association would also allow it to increase foreign ownership in the company.

Thanks to these adjustments, Acen can now focus on the development, production and distribution of electricity and engage in retail electricity supply.

It also obtained SEC approval to change its principal office and corporate name from AC Energy Corp. in Acen Corp.

Acen’s amended corporate charter, announced in November last year, sought to “remove activities that place the company’s business under the Philippines’ negative foreign investment list, given that the company does not engage in oil exploration, mining and related activities”. , and to specify the power of the company to provide guarantees within the framework of its activity.

Negative list

The 12th Foreign Investment Negative List, which the government released last month, outlines the limits of foreign ownership in major economic areas or activities.

According to the updated list, small-scale mining is reserved for Filipinos while 40% foreign ownership is allowed in the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources.

Republic Act 11659, which amended the Civil Service Act, allows full foreign ownership in certain sectors such as airlines, railroads, and telecommunications. This is still not allowed in certain sectors, including electricity, water, public service vehicles, oil pipelines and seaports.

Business transition

Ayala’s electricity company also announced last October its commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2050.

To achieve this goal, Acen would need to transition to a pure renewable energy (RE) business and divest its thermal assets.

Acen was supposed to enter into an ownership-for-equity swap deal with oil and gas exploration unit ACE Enexor (ACEX) as part of efforts to make its production 100% renewable by 2025.

Acen and Enexor, however, were forced to cancel said agreement as these would require a follow-up offer and a rights offering, which could be a challenge at the moment due to “conditions of unfavorable market”.

Nonetheless, the listed company is reportedly exploring other ways to offload diesel assets, including its working interest in Palawan55 Exploration and Production Corp., operator of Service Contract 55, a deepwater block off the southwest Palawan Basin. covering 9,880 square kilometers off West Palawan.

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