CHINESE-FUNDED firm Xidian Holdings Philippines Corp. (Xidian Holdings), together with a Singapore-based consortium, officially broke ground on Thursday on a 232-megawatt (MW) wind and solar project in Ilocos Norte with an investment cost of $430 million, the single largest renewable energy project in the country to date.
Xidian Holdings and the Singaporean consortium bought into Energy Logics Philippines in December 2016 and are now the majority shareholders of the company. Energy Logics holds solar and wind service contracts in Pasuquin and Burgos in Ilocos Norte.
The energy company will commence construction of the RE projects this March. Chinese firm Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Group Co. will provide the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services.
Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Chairman Lu Min told reporters in a translated interview that construction will take around 18 months with completion seen around the middle of 2018.
The projects will generate 2,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during operation and maintenance.
“This is a combination of solar and wind project. Wind is 132 MW while solar is 100 MW. The total investment is $430 million. This one is the biggest project in the Philippines that has wind and solar energy. It is also the biggest enterprise of China in the Philippines that combines wind and solar energy,” Lu said.
“It is our honor and pleasure to be the EPC contractor. Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Group is actually an integrated industrial player. We design, we create, we build energy projects and industrial parts. We have about 20 years of experience in this field,” Lu said.
Currently, Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Group has projects in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia.
“This wind and solar project is the first we have in the Philippines. It is our objective to make sure that this project will be a project of good quality, good design, good safety, and good production. We hope through this project, we bring good quality of life to the Filipino people as well as start using this project as a platform to secure future projects to continue to contribute to the Filipino society,” he explained.
Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng is eyeing more projects in the Philippines, Lu said.
The Chinese company is bullish on the prospects in the country due to the improving relationship between the Philippines and China. This latest investment is an offshoot of the successful visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China last October.
“Geographically the Philippines is very near to China so since last year, when your President [Duterte] visited China and following this year, our Vice Premier visited the Philippines, the relationship between our two countries strengthened and has opened up a new chapter for Chinese enterprises to come to the Philippines,” Lu said.