2 US firms earmark P44-B energy, telco investments in PH

By Kris Crismundo

March 13, 2024, 6:24 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Two American companies earmarked over PHP44 billion (USD800 million) for their energy and telecommunications infrastructure projects in the Philippines.

The United States Department of Commerce announced Wednesday (Manila time) that New York-based investment firm KKR & Co., Inc. is investing USD400 million, or over PHP22 billion, for the development and acquisition of around 2,000 telecommunication towers.

This is part of KKR’s investments in Pinnacle Towers, the largest independent telecommunication tower operator in the country.

KKR’s investment plans here are in line with the Marcos administration’s goal to strengthen digital connectivity across the country.

In a press interview in Makati City Tuesday, KKR head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure David Luboff said that to date, the company has invested a total of USD1.7 billion in the country.

“Historically, it’s been USD1.7 billion… This is certainly a very key, interesting market for us and we’re really excited about the prospects of investing here,” he said.

Luboff said that aside from the telecommunication industry, KKR has invested in the country in healthcare and financial technology in partnership with Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP)-led companies Metro Pacific Health and Voyager Innovations, among others.

KKR is part of the delegation of the recently concluded Presidential Trade and Investment Mission (PTIM) of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in Manila from March 11 to 12.

Although not part of the PTIM delegation, the US Department of Commerce likewise announced that Maryland-based clean energy company Ally Power is partnering with another MVP company, MPower —the local retail electricity supplier of Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

It said Ally Power and MPower entered into a USD400-million agreement to build a hydrogen and electric refueling station.

“This station will produce hydrogen, electricity, and sodium aluminate to support the Philippines’ energy security and climate change agenda,” the US commerce agency added.

It said the US firm and Meralco Power Academy will also put up a Center of Excellence to promote breakthrough American renewable energy technologies, in partnership with the University of the Philippines. (PNA)