MANILA -- Listed firm MRC Allied Inc. is in talks with XRC Mall Developer Inc. (XRC) for a tie-up in the installation of solar panels in the latter's community malls.

The discussions are meant to explore, develop and install Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems for rooftops in various malls owned by XRC.

XRC is a domestic corporation engaged in the establishment and operation of Xentro Malls nationwide. Xentro Malls are community malls in cities and municipalities around the Philippines, having leaders in the retail and food industry as its major tenants. The company specializes in community malls.

In a disclosure with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Thursday, MRC president and CEO Gladys Nalda said the initiative marks yet another milestone for MRC's continued business expansion.

"This partnership with XRC will be another milestone for MRC as it diversifies into the renewable energy business," Nalda said.

“This will be a significant step toward our foray into the solar PV rooftop industry,” she added.

More importantly, she said it would also help the company achieve its goal of developing at least 1,000 megawatts (MW) of clean and renewable energy in five years.

The venture into the solar PV rooftop industry follows the company’s recent acquisition of a 15-percent stake in the 50-MW Sulu Electric Power and Light Philippines Inc. (Sepalco) project in Leyte.

The power plant lies on a 70-hectare property in Palo, has a total of 188 solar panels, and is connected to the existing 69-kilovolt transmission line of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in the province.

The Sepalco project is on top of MRC’s 100-MW solar project in Pampanga and 60-MW solar project in Cebu, both of which are in the advanced stages of pre-development. (PNA)