Planned $54m float could drive first slice of Philippines mega solar project


The stock market float planned by Filipino developer Solar Philippines to get its 500 MW Peñaranda solar project off the ground could raise up to PHP2.7 billion ($54.1 million), the company has announced.

With Solar Philippines having announced, earlier this month, it plans an initial public offering (IPO) of the project company associated with the PV park, an update published by the developer on Saturday stated the first PHP1.3 billion ($26.1 million) raised by the exercise will be used to raise a quarter of the investment needed to install the first, 225 MW phase of the development.

With that first phase, therefore, set to cost around PHP5.2 billion, Solar Philippines told pv magazine an initial 50 MW of generation capacity will be installed on the former ranch land in the province of Nueva Ecija, before the borrowings of around PHP3.9 billion are drawn down.

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The developer on Saturday said any IPO proceeds above PHP1.3 billion would be spent acquiring land with the eventual aim of expanding the project size beyond 500 MW.

Solar Philippines at the weekend stuck to its previously stated target of aiming to begin construction this year. Having said, a fortnight ago, it intended to have an unspecified volume of solar capacity operational next year, that reference may have been to the first 50 MW of panels. The company had previously spoken of plans for an initial 225 MW phase, to be expanded with “further financing” to 500 MW and then “even beyond this capacity.”

The developer's Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corporation project company will offer up to 2.7 billion shares to investors from December 1-7, for an estimated PHP1 per share ($0.02), although the final offer price is due to be set on Tuesday next week.

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Solar Philippines said the project company has been tentatively penciled in for a listing on the main board of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) from December 17.

Leandro Leviste, founder of the Makati City-based solar company, quoted in Saturday's press release, said: “We thank the PSE and SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] for approving this IPO, which aims to give the public a new option to invest in RE [renewable energy] and increase the RE capacity of the Philippines.

“We’ve decided to make this our group’s first venture into the public markets because this is the asset that we are proudest to showcase: a site where will rise the largest solar project in southeast Asia, with potential for expansion given its proximity to Manila, to meet the growing demand for renewable energy in the Philippines.”

This copy was amended on 16/11/21 to include an explanation, provided by Solar Philippines, that the IPO plan always involved using a portion of the proceeds as the equity portion of a 75-25 debt-to-equity finance package for the first 225 MW of generation capacity at Peñaranda, with the developer intending to install the initial 50 MW before drawing down the debt needed for phase one.

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