Light Rail Manila Takes Over LRT 1 Operations

Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC ) the concessionaire for the operations, maintenance and extension of LRT1, of which AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation has a 35% stake, took over the operations and maintenance of the LRT Line 1 from the Light Rail Transit Authority and Department of Transportation and Communications on September 12, 2015.

LRMC is the concessionaire for the operations, maintenance and extension of LRT1. It will operate and maintain LRT1 for 32 years. Once LRMC extends LRT1, the system will stretch 32.4 kilometers (from its current 20.7 kilometers) from Muñoz, Quezon City to Bacoor, Cavite (from its current endpoint at Baclaran). LRT1 serves approximately half a million passengers today. The extension will serve future high growth centers in the South like Cavite.

LRMC is taking over a train system that is severely deteriorated. It is the oldest train line in Metro Manila where maintenance has been a challenge over the past years. Out of the 100 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) committed to be delivered to LRMC upon take-over, only approximately 77 of the LRVs are in running condition. It will take time to fix the fleet and restore the system to optimal operating levels. The real benefit of an improved train system will not be felt by the riding public immediately but will come in due course particularly when the new trains are delivered by the government as part of its obligations under the Concession Agreement, which trains are scheduled to arrive in 2017, barring any delays. This notwithstanding, LRMC is committed to improve the public’s riding experience over time and gradually bring the LRT 1 system to better operating levels. Particularly, LRMC will begin works starting with improvements in the facilities on all the stations for the safety and security of customers. Nine of the eleven substations are also in line for rehabilitation to help ensure more reliable train services.

Ayala Corporation Chairman & CEO, Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said, “We are excited to work with our partners MPIC, Macquarie, the DOTC and the LRTA. Both the government and the private sector have commitments to meet under the concession framework. It is imperative that we work together to ensure the successful delivery of this project for the benefit of the riding public.”

“After months of preparation, we are pleased to take on the operations of LRT 1,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, the Chairman of LRMC. “We consider the DOTC and LRTA to be our partners in this project, and will work to improve the Line over time, and make it a system that our commuters will not only enjoy riding, but one they can be truly proud of.”

LRMC is owned by Light Rail Manila Holdings, Inc. (LRMH), Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Limited. LRMH is jointly owned by MPLRC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, and AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation.

Ayala to Invest in a Solar Power Plant in Negros Oriental

AC Energy Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, signed on September 8, 2015 a Subscription and Shareholders’ Agreement with Bronzeoak Clean Energy Inc., the investment arm of Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., for the development, construction and operation of a solar power farm in Bais City, Negros Oriental. The project will be owned and operated by Monte Solar Energy Inc. (MonteSol), a special purpose vehicle company, and shall be undertaken in two phases. The first phase is for an 18 MW solar power plant with a total project cost of P1.3 billion and is targeted for completion by March 2016. The second phase is for the expansion of the initial 18 MW solar power plant to up to 40 MW.

Bronzeoak was the developer and is managing shareholder of the 45 MW San Carlos Solar Energy (SacaSol) project, the country’s first and largest solar farm, inaugurated by President Benigno S. Aquino III in May of 2014. Sacasol was the first ever renewable energy project that was awarded feed-in-tariff under the Philippine FiT System.

AC Energy President and CEO John Eric Francia said, “We are excited to pursue this opportunity and expand our renewable energy assets in line with our broader objective to create a balanced energy portfolio. This project serves as a good entry platform for our investment in solar power, particularly as technology costs have dramatically improved over the past few years.”

Bronzeoak President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta said, “Montesol is part of Bronzeoak’s development portfolio of 202 MW of solar projects now in operation or under construction, and we couldn’t be any more excited to be welcoming a partner like AC Energy into MonteSol and into the solar power sector.”

“Renewable energy brings reliable and clean power to the countryside to accelerate our nation’s sustainable development,” added Montesol President Xavier P. Zabaleta, “And the investment of AC Energy will only accelerate the ongoing rapid development of Negros. Investments like these have been made possible by the strong leadership and project support of the provincial governors of Negros and the local governments of Bais, San Carlos, La Carlota and Manapla.”

Ayala Corporation Sells Luzon Wind Energy Holdings B.V.

On September 2, 2015, Ayala International Holdings, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, sold its ownership interest in Luzon Wind Energy Holdings B.V. (“Luzon Wind”) to DGA NLREC B.V.

Luzon Wind owns part of Ayala’s stake in North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. (“NLREC”), being held by its wholly owned subsidiary AC Energy Holdings, Inc. NLREC owns and operates an 81MW wind farm in Barangay Caparispisan, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

After the sale of Luzon Wind, AC Energy Holdings, Inc. still remains the largest owner of NLREC with an economic stake of approximately 36%.

DGA NLREC B.V. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation.

Ayala and Mitsubishi Corp. have been partners since 1974, when they signed an agreement to jointly explore investment opportunities in the Philippines.