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EDC launches maiden green bond framework

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - March 5, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is launching today its maiden green bond framework to coincide with its 45th anniversary.

EDC is also seeking certification of the bonds under the ASEAN Green Bonds Standards adopted in the Philippines.

This follows the board’s approval of a P15-billion bond shelf registration, with the initial tranche comprising up to P5 billion bonds.

Proceeds from the bond issuance will finance or refinance new and existing renewable energy projects considered eligible green projects under its Green Bond Framework. These projects will provide cleaner, reliable power to businesses, institutions, and other electricity consumers.

The initial tranche is targeted to be issued in the second quarter, EDC CFO Erwin Avante earlier said.

EDC president and COO Richard Tantoco said proceeds would bankroll the development of two geothermal projects this year.

“We’re going full steam ahead to expand our geothermal portfolio with two projects this year, our 45th year of operation.  Our 24/7 clean geothermal energy is one of our country’s strengths that will help the transition to a low carbon economy,” he said.

One of the projects it is working on is the Palayan binary plant, the expansion of the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power plant in Albay.

The 29-megawatt Palayan binary plant, which has an estimated cost of P6.4 billion and is targeted to be completed in 2022, will boost the overall power generation capacity of the existing Bacman Geothermal power plant – the 120-MW Bacman I and 20-MW Bacman II.

EDC said geothermal power is the most ideal source of renewable energy, calling it Geo 24/7, as it can provide reliable, stable low carbon baseload power all year round, rain or shine.

Since geothermal power development needs lush forests for steam recharge, EDC has the BINHI forest restoration program to bring back the abundance of threatened Philippine native tree species, protecting and expanding the country’s forestry.

The green bond framework is part of EDC’s push for renewable energy, which is at the heart of the Lopez Group’s mission “to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.”

Sustainalytics has reviewed and issued a second-party opinion on EDC’s green bond framework.

Sustainalytics noted that EDC’s green bond framework is credible and impactful, highlights the key aspects of the green bond framework, and confirms the alignment of the framework to the green bond principles and EDC’s sustainability strategy. It also shows the efforts of EDC and positive sustainability aspects of the bonds that will be issued under the framework.

EDC’s over 1,480 MW total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity.

Meanwhile, its almost 1,200 MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the third largest geothermal producer in the world.

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