Aboitiz targets greener future, capex soars to PHP153B

The Aboitiz Group, a cornerstone of Philippine industry, has embarked on a transformative journey, amplifying its investment in renewable energy (RE) and signaling a robust future for sustainable business.

Confirming earlier speculations, the conglomerate has announced a record-high capital expenditure (capex) for the year, an impressive PHP153 billion, which more than doubles the preceding year’s PHP65 billion allocation.

Sabin Aboitiz, the group’s president and CEO, revealed the capex leap on Thursday, underscoring a strategic shift towards a greener corporate identity.

“Our substantial increase in capital expenditures is a clear reflection of our commitment to renewable energy. We believe that investing in sustainable energy sources is not just good for the environment, but also makes good business sense,” Aboitiz said.

The announcement paints a vivid picture of the group’s ambition to champion clean energy in the Philippines and beyond. Aboitiz Power Corp, the energy arm of the conglomerate, commands the lion’s share of this year’s spending plan, earmarked at PHP73 billion. This funding is aimed at supercharging the construction and development of disclosed projects, with over 1,000 megawatts (MW) in the works, steering the group towards a lofty goal of 4,600 MW of renewable energy within the next ten years.

The group’s resolve is not just penned in statements but is taking shape on the ground. This year’s capex includes the groundbreaking of several RE projects, notably the 89-MW peak Solar Project in San Manuel, Pangasinan, and a 50-MW wind plant in Camarines Sur, both exemplars of the group’s partnership ethos with other energy stalwarts.

The investment splurge spills over to Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), which is allocated PHP44 billion, channeling a significant portion into acquiring Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI), marking a notable expansion into the beverage industry.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is not far behind, with PHP25 billion dedicated to reinforcing and optimizing current assets while scouting for new ventures that promise synergy with the group’s existing portfolio. The group’s venture into the essentials of building – cement – is further fortified with a PHP1 billion allocation for Republic Cement’s maintenance and spares.

In the agriculture sector, Pilmico and Gold Coin Group are slated to receive nearly PHP4 billion for expansion, indicative of the group’s diverse interest. Meanwhile, Aboitiz Land earmarks PHP3.3 billion to fuel its ongoing real estate ventures.

While the specific figures for Union Bank of the Philippines’ (UBP) capex remain undisclosed, it is clear that digital transformation is on the agenda, with significant investments directed towards technology upgrades, cybersecurity, and system integration.

Aboitiz’s vision extends beyond business metrics; he sees the conglomerate as a “techglomerate,” poised to redefine industry and community contours in the digital epoch. As the Aboitiz Group propels forward with its green and tech-centric initiatives, it stands as a paragon of how traditional businesses can pivot towards sustainability while continuing to thrive.