ILOCOS WIND POWER PROJECT APPROVED
Manila, Dec. 18, 2000 - The 40-megawatt (MW) wind energy project in the Ilocos region can start negotiating for financing following the recent approval of the project by the Cabinet-Level Investment Coordinating Committee (ICC).
The Philippine National Oil Corp.-Energy Development Corp. (PNOC-EDC) is the project proponent of the $54-million project. It is one of the pioneering projects of the government to develop its new and renewable energy sources (NREs) to replace imported fossil fuel and coal.
The PNOC-EDC has already secured all the necessary permits and endorsement to implement the project, including an assurance from the National Power Corp. (Napocor) that the power generated from the wind facility will be dispatched to the Luzon Gird.
PNOC-EDC president Nazario Velasquez plans to tap the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Obuchi Fund. He had earlier identified the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) and the Danish International Development Authority (Danida) as interested financing institutions for the unique power project in Burgos, Ilocos Sur.
The project, estimated to cost between $60 and $70-million, involves the construction of a wind energy facility designed to generate some 40 MW in its initial phase. In its second phase, the project proponents plan to expand the capacity to 120 MW.
The Obuchi fund will reportedly have a one-percent interest rate and a maturity period of 40 years. One major condition however is that the project must have a 50-percent Japanese component.
"We would like to complete the wind project within two to three years time upon approval of the financial package," Velasquez said.
Based on a study conducted by the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), the Philippines has the potential to generate some 70,000 MW on installed capacity from wind power or seven times the country’s present installed capacity. It has 10,000 kilometers of windy land area with good-to-excellent wind energy resource potential.
"Considering only these areas of good-to-excellent wind resource, there are 47 provinces in the Philippines with at least 500 MW of wind potential, and 25 provinces with at least 1,000 MW of wind potential," the study said.
The study was undertaken with the assistance of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Napocor, and the United National Climate Data Center.
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