ACEN commits P36B in tie-up with indigenous Australians
MANILA, Philippines —Ayala-led ACEN Corp. is set to develop 750 megawatts (MW) of clean energy facilities in an area sacred to an indigenous group in Australia via a P36-billion investment.
In a statement on Monday, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines announced Acen’s commitment to the Aboriginal group via the creation of Yindjibarndi Energy Corp.
Projects will be developed in the “next few years” within a 13,000-square kilometer (sq km) area, which is part of the Yindjibarndi people’s exclusive native title land in the Pilbara region.
The Yindjibarndi are aboriginal Australians who have inhabited the mainland prior to the British colonization in the 1700s. With a population of around 400, the Yindjibarndi consider their lands sacred and are duty-bound to protect them.
Under Australian law, a native title describes the rights of indigenous Australians to various land and bodies of water.
The partnership requires the Yindjibarndi people’s approval of all proposed projects prior to development. It also assures the indigenous group 25 percent to 50 percent equity participation in all projects, training and employment opportunities.
Energy for domestic, export markets
According to ACEN International chief executive Patrice Clausse, the Pilbara region is home to “some of the largest industrial energy users globally, many of whom have expressed their desire to transition to a carbon-neutral future.”
“The energy produced will be for domestic and export markets. Subsequent stages will target an additional 2 gigawatts (GW) to 3 GW of combined wind, solar and battery storage,” the Australian Embassy said.
“We are actively engaged in promising dialogues with potential offtake customers to purchase the renewable energy,” Clause said. He also hinted at other investment opportunities in ACEN’s largest international market via information and data shared by Australian advisors.
ACEN has over 1 GW of capacity under construction and in operation in Australia.
It is set to develop the 521-MW New England and 520-MW Stubbo solar projects in the country.
Apart from the Philippines and Australia, ACEN also has businesses in Vietnam, India and Indonesia. INQ