Fernando Zobel de Ayala
Annual Stockholders’ Meeting | 19 April 2021
Esteemed shareholders, my colleagues on the Board and management, ladies and gentlemen, good morning to all of you. After more than a year, the COVID-19 pandemic remains as the most challenging crisis we have all faced in recent times in terms of its unprecedented impact to human life as well as our healthcare and economic system. Amidst the continuing challenges, we recognize the tremendous sacrifice and service of our many healthcare and economic frontliners. We deeply appreciate all that you continue to do for the country.
On behalf of the entire Ayala Group, allow me to also give my sincere thanks to the entire AC Energy team for your unwavering commitment to go the extra mile to ensure stable and reliable access to power for our communities, especially during these times.
We extend our deepest gratitude to our various energy front liners, some of whom have had to stay at our powerplants and away from their families for several months in order to provide power for commerce, industry and everyone working and schooling from home.
We also thank our colleagues at AC Energy for going beyond the call of duty and contributing resources in the fight against COVID-19. Your assistance in establishing treatment facilities early during the pandemic was greatly appreciated. These same facilities are now crucial once again as we face a new surge of infections. I am delighted to see the strong spirit of Bayanihan in our organization, and I hope that we can sustain this moving forward. Once again, our deepest thanks to all of you.
As our understanding of the pandemic deepens, I believe that there is now a renewed appreciation of the interconnectedness of communities and the infrastructure that hold these together. We are now recognizing that complex global emergencies, such as the pandemic, economic inequality, and climate change, trace their roots to failures in fully integrating sustainability principles to decision-making and operations.
In the same vein, embracing sustainability will be our way forward in addressing these intricate global challenges. I am encouraged that several governments and private institutions, including many in the Philippines, are renewing their commitments to these same principles.
Thus, amidst plans to revive our economy, I believe that we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “build back better” towards a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future as we steadily move the post-COVID world.
Sustainable recovery is now seen as perhaps our best and only way forward to achieve our environmental goals to mitigate climate change, to create jobs, build economic resilience, and ultimately, improve the well-being of people. I am delighted that AC Energy has made significant progress along these fronts and continues to be recognized as a key contributor to sustainable growth and development.
For the past year, AC Energy Corporation or ACEN, remained focused on its renewables growth strategy through continuous renewable energy investments.
Despite the difficult year, the company earmarked Php 10 billion in CAPEX. We augmented our generating capacity with the construction of two new solar plants, battery storage and firming facilities in Luzon. This brings ACEN’s total attributable capacity to 1,034 MW, with almost half of the capacity coming from renewable sources. Our 2020 investments created more than 3,000 jobs within our host communities and continue to be vital pieces towards reigniting the economy and creating economic activity.
As the country looks ahead to bounce back quickly from the pandemic, ACEN remains strongly committed to our vision of a sustainable energy future. In fact, we believe that this commitment is more important now than ever. Towards this end, we built our sustainability framework on three focus areas embedded across our business operations, governance, and culture. We aim to have a low carbon portfolio by 2030, protect the environment, and invest in our host communities.
My brother Jaime and I recently visited our pilot Sustainability Hub in the 120 MW GigaSol plant being constructed in Alaminos, Laguna. We see this hub as a clear example of shared value coming to life and the potential it holds for creating meaningful impact and lasting change.
It was inspiring and touching to see the high levels of engagement of the local community and the warm reception that our solar farm investment received. We are excited to work with our host and neighboring communities to develop programs for livelihood, sustainability, and resilience.
Before I give the floor to AC Energy’s President and CEO, Mr. Eric Francia, allow me to acknowledge our outgoing member of the Board, Mr. Gerry Ablaza. Gerry’s guidance helped shape AC Energy to what it is today, most especially over the last few years of tremendous growth. We thank you for your guidance and support Gerry.
Joining our Board will be Ms. Nicole Goh of GIC Private Limited, ACEN’s newest investment partner. Welcome, Ms. Goh. We are delighted to have you and GIC onboard, and we are excited to see how our organizations might lead the region’s energy transition.
Once again, I thank the entire AC Energy organization and its management team for a milestone 2020, despite the many challenges.
We still have quite a journey ahead towards our full recovery, but I am encouraged that we have built a solid platform from which to continue our growth as a company, while contributing to the progress of the country.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management, and our entire team, I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to our shareholders and our many stakeholders for your continued trust and support.
We remain committed to play a role in accelerating our recovery post-COVID, as well as in the sustainable energy transition.