As published on PhilStar
MANILA, Philippines — In the Philippines, it’s not easy to just enter any industry. The energy sector, for instance, is one that is highly technical and complex that those wanting to enter it need to be knowledgeable enough to navigate through the maze-like business landscape.
Listed company MRC Allied, however, although still a new kid on the block, is already making its mark, thanks to the woman at the helm who is no doubt breaking the glass ceiling.
Meet lawyer Gladys Nalda, president and chief executive officer of MRC Allied. A known energy expert with a strong background in corporate and commercial law, Nalda specializes in renewable energy and was former vice-president for Legal and Corporate Affairs of state-owned PNOC Renewables Corp.
She was also previously connected with PNOC Exploration Corp. and the Department of Energy as legal counsel.
Thus, with Nalda at the helm, MRC Allied has successfully diversified into the energy sector from just a property firm previously.
The company strategy as a new energy player is to “buy and build.”
“We’ve overhauled the organization, instilled reforms, changed the thrust of the company and formed a new team. Our strategy is to buy and build,” Nalda told The STAR.
The plans are grand and the vision is bold but Nalda’s leadership has proven that it can be done.
“She knows what she wants. She is a visionary. She does not stay on the vision but she has actions. She knows how to get there. She is very determined,” said May Militante, MRC Allied’s chief investment officer.
After a successful 2017, MRC Allied’s shareholders are excited about the future.
“So far since we started, our stock price has been quite attractive. It’s gaining traction. We take it as something positive for the company. It shows that shareholders are open and believes in the new thrust of the company,” Militante said.
Nalda said that to implement the buy and build strategy, the company initiated the acquisition of power projects.
“We are living up to the plans and expectations both of the bosses, shareholders and the team,” she said.
The company expects to start reaping the benefits of hard work by 2019.
MRC Allied closed 2017 by achieving its goal of having a 200-megawatt portfolio at the end of the year.
It acquired a stake in the 50-megawatt Sulu Electric Power and Light Philippines Inc. or Sepalco in Palo, Leyte and is looking to double its capacity to 100 MW. It also acquired two projects.
The power plant lies on a 70-hectare property in Palo and 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.
Another project is a 100 MW solar project in Clark and another is a 60 MW solar project in Naga, Cebu.
Nalda said the company delivered as promised but noted that this is just the start.
“We will not lose sight of our target of building a portfolio of 1,000 MW by 2022,” Nalda said.
Nalda is guided by the support of the company’s board of directors, chaired by former president of PNOC Renewables Corp., Carlos Gatmaitan.
Members are Jimmy Yaokisin, Bernard Rabanzo, Celia Chao, Carlos Edita Bueno, Jan Vincent Soliven and former Energy secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla,
Moving forward, the company is in for better things to come with the growing shift to renewable energy amid the realization that now more than ever, coal is becoming less and less viable as an option for energy.
In the last few months, MRC has achieved the biggest leap in stock prices, soaring by 200 percent compared to other shares.
Under Nalda’s leadership, the company wants to focus on clean energy and has in fact started recruiting a team of professionals with solid energy background.
Indeed, MRC Allied was off to a good start this year and with the strong commitment and determination of its team and board to achieve the company’s goals, there’s no doubt that the company would continue to soar to greater heights.