ACE Enexor Inc. is inching closer to fulfilling its plans to build a 1,100 megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant in Batangas.

An investment agreement has been signed among ACE Enexor, Buendia Christiana Holdings Corp. (BCHC), United States-based Red Holdings B.V., Gen X Energy L.P., and Batangas Clean Energy (BCE) last November 19, the Ayala-owned firm said in a disclosure Monday.

Red Holdings is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gen X Energy, which, in turn, is a portfolio company of Blackstone Inc., the world’s largest alternative asset manager.

BCHC is special purpose vehicle of AC Energy—the power arm of the Ayala Group—that will own the land for its development projects. ACE Enexor, meanwhile, is the upstream oil and gas company of the Ayala Group.

Under the deal, BEC will be the special purpose vehicle company where ACE Enexor and Gen X will each own a 50-percent interest in the power project, which will use natural gas and/or green hydrogen as its fuel.

“The transaction will potentially add 1,100MW of natural gas and/or green hydrogen power to the Company’s power generation portfolio,” said ACE Enexor, adding that the arrangements on management and operations will be finalized upon the execution of the shareholders agreement on closing.

The investment deal also involves ACE Enexor’s subscription of 150,002 BCE shares for P150,219,040.

“[ACE Enexor] will subscribe to shares in BCE such that [ACE Enexor] and Gen X Energy will each own a 50-percent interest in BCE, subject to the satisfaction of agreed conditions precedent and execution of definitive documents, including a shareholders’ agreement,” it said.

BCE shall file an application for the increase in its authorized capital stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BCE earlier informed the Department of Energy (DOE) of its intent to join the gas business. It had already been issued a Notice to Proceed (NTP) by the agency. At that time, however, BCE was reportedly a partnership between Gen X and the group of tycoon Lucio Tan.

Back then, BCE told the DOE that it had planned to develop an integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and a 1,200MW combined-cycle gas turbine power facility. The entire project could cost P82 billion.

In anticipation of the eventual depletion of the Malampaya deep-water gas-to-power project which has been providing about 20 percent of the country’s power needs, the DOE has long been advocating for the optimization of LNG.

The agency also wants to harness the potential of nuclear energy as part of the energy mix and is exploring other sources of energy like hydrogen to meet the country’s growing demand for electricity.

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