Consortium including GIC unit invests in geothermal firm

GIC said the strategic partnership will harness First Gen's significant experience in the power, utilities and energy sectors in the Philippines.
GIC said the strategic partnership will harness First Gen's significant experience in the power, utilities and energy sectors in the Philippines.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

A consortium of investors, including a unit of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, has stepped up its investment in a geothermal energy producer.

The consortium, known as Philippines Renewable Energy Holdings Corporation (PREHC), has begun a strategic partnership with First Gen Corporation as substantial shareholders in Energy Development Corporation (EDC), said GIC in a statement yesterday.

First Gen is the parent company of EDC, the world's largest vertically integrated geothermal firm and the largest pure-play renewable energy firm in the Philippines. EDC has 1,471 megawatts (MW) of clean and renewable power assets under its portfolio.

PREHC in August had launched a successful voluntary offer for 31.7 per cent of EDC's total outstanding voting shares for US$1.3 billion (S$1.8 billion).

The consortium comprises funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Mira) and Arran Investment, an affiliate of GIC.

GIC said the strategic partnership will harness First Gen's significant experience in the power, utilities and energy sectors in the Philippines with PREHC's extensive global infrastructure expertise to support EDC's long-term growth.

First Gen, a leading power producer in the Philippines, will continue to hold a majority stake in EDC and maintain day-to-day control. It primarily utilises clean and indigenous fuels such as natural gas, geothermal energy from steam, and hydro-electric, wind and solar power, and has 3,489MW under its portfolio of power assets.

Mira and GIC are long-term investors with a track record in both global infrastructure and renewable energy. They own and operate a combined installed capacity of over 11,000 MW globally.

First Gen and EDC chairman Federico Lopez said Mira and GIC are "the right partners for this juncture in our corporate history".

"They're long-term and astute capital, they have complementary perspectives and they're willing to help us push the frontiers of innovation as we build EDC into a platform that's well-positioned for a dynamically changing energy landscape."

Mr Ang Eng Seng, chief investment officer of infrastructure at GIC, added: "As a long-term investor, we believe EDC's unique portfolio of renewable energy assets will continue to generate stable and sustainable returns.

"This investment in EDC marks our first infrastructure commitment to the Philippines and we look forward to growing the company with our partners in this vibrant energy market."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Consortium including GIC unit invests in geothermal firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe