Megawide’s Saavedra to list solar power holding firm to fund big goals

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Tycoon Edgar Saavedra is planning to list solar power-focused Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. at a near $1-billion valuation by the middle of 2023 as it bets on growing demand for clean fuel sources.

Citicore Renewable Energy, the sponsor of the group’s real estate investment trust arm Citicore Energy REIT Corp., is raising money to support an aggressive 5,000-megawatt expansion over the next five years, company CEO Oliver Tan told reporters in an interview last week.

He added the long-term pipeline would require investments of around $3.75 billion, and will involve a mix of solar and battery projects.

The move was in line with the government’s goal to gradually transition away from fossil fuels and raise renewables’ share in the country’s electricity mix to 50 percent by 2040 from under 30 percent at present.

“We have 10 gigawatts of existing supply of coal [power] and that needs to be replaced. So, just to replace the current supply [with renewables] is big enough even without factoring in demand growth,” Tan said.

Saavedra’s group, which includes listed Megawide Construction Corp., is also bullish on renewables given demand from global and local investors seeking to deploy funds to support the development of green power sources.

“There is strong global appetite to invest in infrastructure, particularly renewable energy. We anticipate $2 trillion in global inflows over the next five years,” Macquarie Asset Management, part of Australia’s financial services giant Macquarie Group, underscored in its 2023 outlook report.

Macquarie said governments were leading the charge in lowering their lower carbon footprint and achieving energy security.

“For years, the argument was that you could have either energy security or sustainability, not both. Now we see that these two priorities must be met simultaneously, often in concert with each other,” it noted.

Should plans proceed, Citicore Renewable Energy could roll out the country’s second-biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year after billionaire Enrique Razon Jr.’s Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc., which was seeking a maximum $2.4-billion valuation, based on its latest deal prospectus.

Philippine Stock Exchange president Ramon Monzon earlier told the Inquirer the bourse was targeting around 14 IPOs for 2023 and total equity deals of P160 billion, which was larger than the P110.4 billion raised last year.

—Miguel R. Camus INQ

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