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Philippines' shift away from coal expands with Ayala deal

Government and companies aim high on renewables, but cost hurdles remain

A coal barge is pulled along a river in Indonesia, the Philippines' main source of imported coal.   © Reuters

MANILA -- A unit of Philippine conglomerate Ayala has become the latest power company in the country to move away from coal toward cleaner energy, a delicate transition in a nation with high electricity prices.

Manila-listed ACEN this week sold a subsidiary holding the group's sole coal-fired power plant, South Luzon Thermal Energy, as part of its commitment to generate all electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The proceeds from this move will be reinvested in projects for renewable energy.

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