Asian Greenergy plant to augment Mindanao power supply
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday, May 5 signed the service contract of Asian Greenenergy Corporation for a $20-million solar power project in Mindanao.
The company led by former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, an advocate of renewable energy, will construct the facility in Bukidnon, Zubiri's home province. The facility will offer an initial 4 megawatts (MW) to First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (FBECo) by August or September 2014.
Mindanao, with a power demand of up to 1,200 MW a day, is currently suffering long brownouts. Asian Greenergy can help augment power supply in Bukidnon.
“The full commercial operation of the entire project is probably going to be in the summer of 2015. We are trying to get it up in August or September for the first 4 MW,” Zubiri told reporters after the contract signing.
Singapore's Soleq Private Ltd. is Asian Greenergy's partner in the project. “Together with Solec, which where our funding will come from, we will put up an SPV called Bukidnon Solar Power Corporation. We are just waiting for the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) approval,” added Zubiri.
Soleq, a regional builder of solar power plants, has a portfolio of around 110 MW in Thailand alone. There are other projects in the pipeline across the region.
Soleq is the solar arm of Equis Funds Group of Singapore, an investment fund manager focused on Asia for its joint ventures.
“We are looking at partnering with (Asian Greenenergy) on a long-term basis. We did not come here for a short term. Soleq is a pure solar energy developer,” Soleq Director Adam Ballien.
The former senator authored Republic Act 9513 of the Renewable Energy Act, which provides the entry of renewable energy projects, particularly in Mindanao.
This is the maiden energy project of Asian Greenergy. Zubiri said the company is looking at developing similar projects in other areas in Mindanao.
“We are also looking at Luzon now that Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has said that the DOE (Department of Enegy) is looking at increasing the target installation of solar energy for Luzon,” Zubiri said.
DOE hopes to increase target installation of solar power capacity to 450 MW by March 2015 from the current 50 MW.
“It has to be commissioned by March 15, 2015 which is short but it can be done. It could be too big a size for such a short window but the serious players will come in,” he said. “We need additional capacity al the time, especially during summer,” said Petilla. – Rappler.com