Richest Philippine tycoon Villar seeks to boost renewables


MANILA (Bloomberg): Manuel Villar (pic), the Philippines’ richest tycoon, has joined a heated race of businessmen seeking to expand the nation’s green electricity capacity.

Villar plans to spend the 2 billion pesos (US$35.4 million) to 2.31 billion pesos he will raise from Premiere Island Power REIT Corp’s IPO to buy sites for as many as nine power projects, CEO TJ Mendoza said.

The projects will boost the Villar group’s renewable generation capacity to up to 1,000 MW in three to five years, he said in an investors briefing.

The former senate president is joining other Philippine businessmen like port and casino tycoon Enrique Razon and property and banking magnate Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala who are making aggressive push into power and renewables as the Philippines seeks to build capacity and shift into sustainable electricity sources.

The government estimates 69.4 gigawatts of additional capacity is needed to meet projected electricity demand by 2040.

Villar’s renewable venture PAVI Green has power projects that are mostly in underserved and missionary areas, providing PremiereREIT’s future assets and growth, Mendoza said. PAVI has won the bidding for 40.4MW of solar energy in the government’s Green Energy Auction Programme.

PremiereREIT is the third company Villar has taken public since the IPO of his convenience store AllDay Marts Inc. last year. Villar, who started as low-cost homes developer to build a sprawling empire that covers property, energy, water, media and retail, has an estimated $6.8 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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