MANILA – Renewable energy firm Alternergy Holdings Corp. and Shell announced Tuesday their partnership to develop offshore wind projects in the country.
The partnership with Shell will be through Alternergy's unit Pililla AVPC Corp.
In a press conference in Makati City, Alternergy chairperson Vince Perez said the partnership is initially looking into developing an offshore wind project in Calavite Passage, which has a potential capacity of 5 gigawatts.
The firm eyes to develop 1 GW offshore wind power from the site, which is in the northwest corner of Mindoro.
"Shell, as our strategic partner with 50 years of deep water offshore and over 20 years of offshore wind development experience, will bring in its global track record, supply chain access, and technical expertise in developing large-scale bottom-fixed and floating wind projects," Perez said.
The former energy chief added that Alternergy is "eagerly waiting" for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.s’ executive order (EO) on offshore wind development.
Last week, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rapahel Lotilla said the agency is crafting the EO to be signed and issued by Marcos that aims to stimulate investments in offshore wind projects.
This is part of the Marcos administration’s goal of harnessing indigenous energy resources for energy security, accessible and affordable power for Filipinos, and increasing the share of clean energy in the country’s energy mix.
"I thanked these local companies and their foreign partners for taking bold action in committing to deliver clean energy to the Filipino people. Harnessing the power potential of offshore wind resources requires intensive capital cost and highly skilled manpower resources, thus partnerships are a key strategy," Lotilla said in a statement Tuesday.
In the same event, Shell General Manager for Offshore Power for Asia Pacific Joe Nai said the availability of supporting infrastructures like ports, cranes and vessels, among others, will help in the development of the country’s offshore wind industry.
For the Calavite Passage Offshore Wind Project, the companies are eyeing to use the Batangas Port.
Nai added that offshore wind projects would also boost other industries as building the infrastructure would require turbines, steel, towers, electrical cables, among others, as well as the skills of designing and constructing the project.
Meanwhile, Perez said despite the amended implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Renewable Energy Act that allows 100 percent foreign ownership for renewable energy projects, Alternergy and Shell are looking into maintaining the usual 60-40 equity share in favor of the local party.
Perez added that the company is “not threatened” with the amended IRR that is seen to invite more players in the country’s renewable energy sector.
“Actually, we welcome the lifting of the foreign ownership restrictions. It brings more players to the Philippines, but we are not threatened by it because we still feel that -- as you can see from this synergy -- we bring complementary skills,” he said. (PNA)