Manila, 11 September 2023 – Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently concluded a bilateral visit to the Philippines last September 8, the first Australian leader to do so in twenty years. The bilateral meeting was highlighted by the signing of a Strategic Partnership with President of the Philippines HE Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The new Strategic Partnership establishes an enduring framework for closer cooperation with the Philippines, one of Australia’s key partners in Southeast Asia, based on a strong alignment of strategic interests.
The strategic partnership comes on the back of Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, which the Prime Minister launched during his recent visit to Jakarta. The strategy encompasses mutual trade and investment opportunities in key sectors such as agriculture and food, education and skills, resources, and the clean energy transition.
During an interview, the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, said: “I met Eric Francia, the CEO of ACEN, an energy company focusing on renewables. They currently have 2 billion AUD of investment in Australia. They have a large presence in New England region, in Tasmania, as well as investment coming in Western Australia in the Pilbara.”
“They expect that investment to increase to 6 billion AUD in three years – a substantial investment in Australian renewables, putting online something like three gigawatts of additional capacity in the Australian energy market. A significant company which is making a difference and wants to make more of a difference,” added Prime Minister Albanese.
At the sidelines of the Signing Ceremony at Malacañang Palace, the PM briefly met with ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia. Mr. Francia reiterated the company’s commitment to expand in Australia: “ACEN fully supports Australia’s energy transition, and the company is gearing up to triple its Australia investments in the next three years.”
Philippine-listed company ACEN Corporation, the renewable energy platform of Ayala Corporation, is a significant participant in the Australian electricity market with over 1000 megawatts of solar capacity in operations and under construction in New South Wales.
“ACEN appreciates the government’s efforts to augment the much-needed transmission capacity to enable the growth of renewables. Our projects are particularly reliant on the Central West Orana renewable energy zone and the Marinus link transmission projects, among others,” Francia added.
The Albanese government is currently rolling out the 20 billion AUD Rewiring the Nation Plan to upgrade and modernize the electricity grid and enable significant growth in renewables capacity.