Filipino construction tycoon Edgar Saavedra
Filipino construction tycoon Edgar Saavedra has bolstered his renewable energy credentials with a 5.5-billion-peso initial public offering. Image Credit: CREC | Citicore Energy REIT Corp.


  • Strong June 7, 2024 debut of Citicore Renewable Energy Corp (CREC) on the stock exchange comes along with a strategic stake sale with a Philippine financial powerhouse and its partnership with India's GMR Group.
  • Saavedra’s ambition and confidence rests on growing base of industrial know-how and capital riding the wave of the Asian country's growth.

Manila: He's known as someone living simply, but building big.

Armed with fresh billions of pesos raised in an initial public offering, Filipino tycoon Edgar Saavedra has moved closer to his ambition of generating 5,000 megawatts of solar power in five years.

He's just getting started. Saavedra, the 48-year-old co-founder of Megawide Construction Corp., is putting together capital and industrial know-how, with the help of SM Investments and India's GMR Group, to usher in a building-boom-cum-green-revolution in the Asian country, which until now remains dependent on coal for much of its power generation.

On Friday (June 7, 2024), Saavedra listed the third company under the Megawide Group — Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. (CREC) — on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), raising 5.5 billion ($94 million) from its initial public offering (IPO).

Funding secured

CREC offered 2.03 billion shares at 2.70 pesos each, off 30.4-per cent from the maximum target of 3.88 pesos per share. CREC opened Friday at 2.75 pesos, 1.85 per cent higher than its IPO price.

With the money raised, Saavedra has secured the funding to ignite the first 1,000 megawatts of their solar plan. CREC is riding the wave of the Philippines’ renewable energy surge amid economic expansion. The World Bank projects the Asian nation's GDP to hit a 5.8 per cent growth in 2024.

This financial leap, combined with the earlier sale of a 28.8 per cent stake to the Sy family’s SM Investments, has emboldened the construction tycoon.

Drive for renewables
• The Philippines relies heavily on coal for electricity generation, with coal currently supplying nearly 57 per cent of the power mix, equivalent to burning roughly 29 million tonnes of coal annually.

• Following a decade of steady growth, the Philippines has seen a decline in CO2 emissions

• The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) aims for a significant increase in renewables.

• The country has also revised its greenhouse gas reduction target committed under the Paris Agreement, from a 70 per cent reduction by 2030 to 75 per cent.

• The goal: 35 per cent share of the power mix by 2030 and 50 per cent by 2040.

CREC marks Saavedra’s third IPO triumph, following Megawide in 2011 and Citicore Energy REIT Corp. in 2022, collectively raising 30.5 billion pesos ($521 million).

“We are thrilled with CREC’s IPO success, reflecting strong investor trust in our vision,” Saavedra told local media. “This achievement fuels our drive to surpass expectations for regulators and investors alike.”

Company is poised for significant growth, with an ambitious annual investment target of 36 billion pesos ($614.8 million) and plans to expand into wind and hydropower. Megawide posted 183 million pesos ($3.1 million) net income in Q12024, a reversal from 1Q2023 net loss.

Solar farm Philippines solar farm solar project CREIT
A solar farm in the Philippines: Citicore Energy REIT Corp. (CREIT) posted a 26 per cent increase in revenues at 473 million pesos ($27.7 million) for the first quarter of 2024 from 376 million pesos in the same period in 2023. Image Credit: CREIT

Who is Edgar Saavedra?

Edgar Saavedra’s confidence comes from his years mastering the construction business. Forbes lists Saavedra among Philippines’s 50 richest, with a net worth estimated at $260 million.

His engineering experience spans over 20 years. He co-founded Megawide Construction Corp with Michael Cosiquien in 1997, a journey they began after earning civil engineering degrees from De La Salle University.

Megawide builds and repairs structures like high-rises, houses, bridges, and roads. They also operate real estate properties. Their business has three parts: general construction including precast items and equipment, development of the PITX project, and buying, selling, and managing real estate.

Saavedra pursued special studies in Foundation Formworks in Germany, through the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, and now holds a 46 per cent stake, placing him 34th among the country’s richest with an estimated fortune of $260 million.

One of the Megawide's moats: affordable civil engineering solutions, which offer a distinct advantage over wealthier rivals.

Its prefabrication plant, established in 2005, allowed Megawide to reduce costs and accelerate construction, completing a high-rise floor in just a week. This efficiency drew top clients, including SM Group, Megaworld, and Filinvest Land.


Megawide’s decision to build a prefabrication plant revolutionised their operations. It slashed labour costs and construction times, making Megawide the preferred builder for major Philippine companies. Now, the firm aims to evolve into a diversified infrastructure group.

Megawide’s 2011 public listing solidified their market presence, raising 2.3 billion pesos. Its projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme brought further success, having won four major PPP projects between 2010 and 2016, including the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

The airport's transformation under Megawide and India's GMR saw increased airline traffic and passenger numbers. Revenue from Cebu’s airport operations surged, contributing significantly to Megawide’s total earnings.

The company has flourished, boasting 16.8 billion pesos in annual revenue in 2018, which jumped to 18. 6 billion pesos in 2023, resulting in a net income of 269 million pesos (compared to 1.87 billion net loss in 2022). Megawide posted 183 million pesos ($3.1 million) net income in Q12024, a reversal from 1Q2023 net loss.


Top 5 Philippine solar projects (by capacity):


The Philippines, is striving to become a leader in renewable energy. Here are the top 5 biggest solar projects currently operating in the country:

Solar Philippines Concepcion Solar Park (150 MW)

Located in Capas, Tarlac, the Solar Philippines Concepcion Solar Park boasts a capacity of 150 megawatts (MW). This project, completed in 2019, was developed by Solar Philippines Tarlac.

San Carlos Solar Energy 1 (132.5 MW)

Negros Island houses the San Carlos Solar Energy 1 facility, with a capacity of 132.5 MW. This project, operational since 2016, is owned by EDC Renewables, Inc., a subsidiary of the Lopez Group.

San Carlos Solar Energy 2 (132.5 MW)

Also located on Negros Island, San Carlos Solar Energy 2 has the same capacity as its counterpart, San Carlos Solar Energy 1 (132.5 MW). Owned by EDC Renewables, Inc., this project started operations in 2016.

Cadiz Solar Power Plant (132.5 MW)

Another project by EDC Renewables, Inc., the Cadiz Solar Power Plant in Negros Occidental has a capacity of 132.5 MW. It has been operational since 2016.

Calatagan Solar Farm (63.3 MW)

Developed by Solar Philippines, the Calatagan Solar Farm in Batangas has a capacity of 63.3 MW. This project commenced operations in 2014.