Zubiri-led firm to set up 12-MW solar plant in Bukidnon

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A solar power plant designed to contribute 12 megawatts of clean energy to the Mindanao region, where people have been grappling with almost daily power outages, will soon rise in Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao.

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The P20-million plant will start delivering one to four megawatts of power by August to September this year and will be fully operational by March 2015.

On Monday, a contract signing was held in Taguig City between the Department of Energy, led by Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, and newly established local renewable energy firm, Asian Greenenergy Corp., for the renewable energy service contract.

Led by former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Asian Greenenergy has tapped Soleq, the solar arm of Singapore-based Equis Funds Group Pte Ltd, as its joint venture partner. Equis Funds Group is an investment fund manager focused on Asia.

Asian Greenenergy and Soleq will incorporate a joint venture firm called Bukidnon Solar Power Corp., which will serve as the special purpose vehicle for the 12 MW solar project located in Barangay Labuagon, Kibawe, Bukidnon.

“We are very fortunate to have Soleq and Equis as partners who will provide both the financial and technical muscle to bring the Bukidnon solar plant to realization,” Zubiri, who serves as Asian Greenenergy president, told reporters during the contract signing.

Soleq director Adam Ballin said in an interview that “Equis intends to be a long-term partner of the Philippines in the renewable energy sector.”

The development of the project, which will eventually supply First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative Inc. (FIBECO), will be divided into three phases, with the full 12 MW capacity seen to be fully operational by March 2015.

“This project will ease rotating brownouts experienced by the people of Mindanao. Solar is the fastest to build and we can start delivering the initial 4 MW starting September this year,” Zubiri said.

The project will be fully funded by Equis, he added.

Soleq is a regional builder, operator and owner of solar power projects in Asia, which has a portfolio of around 110 MW in Thailand alone, with more power projects in the pipeline across the region.

Soleq is targeting to build a strong portfolio of renewable energy projects in the Philippines.

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