The Philippine Star, Saturday, 15 August 2015 – Filipino-owned renewable energy company Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) is investing at least $200 million to develop solar and wind power projects at the Subic Special Economic Zone.
In a statement, EPI said it would put up renewable energy facilities on Mt. Sta. Rita in Zambales.
The solar project, which is expected to reduce coal consumption by 44,300 tons per year, is expected to cost $200 million and should be operational by June 2016.
A feasibility report released in March showed the site is a suitable location for a solar energy facility that can produce up to 100 megawatts (MW) of power.
The report cited “convenient traffic, superior geographic position and rich solar energy resources” as factors proving the viability of the project.
EPI said it would also build a wind facility in the area but did not disclose further details about the project.
“This time, we are bringing clean and renewable power to SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority). What better way to spark progress and growth to the people of Subic and investors in the country’s first freeport than by making clean and stable power available to them,” EPI chairman Antonio Martin Zamora said.
He said the projects meet the increasing demand for energy of the emerging freeport while also speeding up the area’s economic and social development.
It also meets the objectives of the country’s national energy policy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and alleviate pollution.
EPI expanded its green energy operations from geothermal to solar and wind power through its 90-percent stake in Jobin-Sqm Inc. (JSI) located within the port.
JSI has 100-MW solar and 50-MW wind energy service contracts.
The acquisition was approved by the SBMA board last July 9, which was necessary due to a 50-year lease agreement for the wind and solar development of an 800-hectare property on Mt. Sta. Rita signed in 2014.
The development of these projects will be financed with the help of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), which holds majority interest in EPI investments.
The country’s largest nickel miner has earmarked $60 million for the purchase of JSI and Phase 1 of the solar project, which would initially be able to generate up to 25 MW of solar power.
Earlier, NAC said it would guarantee the loan facility of EPI for up to P3 billion over a three-year period to finance the RE projects.
EPI is also putting up a 40-MW geothermal power company in Oriental Mindoro, a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur, a 2.5-MW biogas project in Quezon; and a 10-MW solar and bunker hybrid project in Northern Palawan.
The Philippine Star
Roberto Oca corner Railroad Sts.
Port Area Manila, Philippines 1018
Tel: (632) 527-7777 (trunkline)