CHINESE-FUNDED firm Xidian Holdings Philippines Corp., together with a Singapore-based consortium, will invest $500 million (P24.91 billion) in setting up a new 232-megawatt (MW) wind and solar project in Ilocos Norte, an official of Xidian Holdings said over the weekend.

Xidian Holdings and the Singaporean consortium bought into Energy Logics Philippines in December, making them majority shareholders of the latter. Energy Logics holds solar and wind service contracts in Ilocos Norte.

Details of the buy-in were not disclosed. The transaction is a strategic partnership between the group of Marco Delgado of Energy Logics and Xidian Holdings, which will pursue the RE projects in the Philippines.

Xidian Holdings managing director Zhang Peng said the company and the consortium led by his partner, Jose Silvestre Natividad, who was appointed Energy Logics president, signed the share purchase agreement with the Delgado Group last December 16.

After the successful buy-in, Energy Logics is now moving forward with the renewable energy project, with a target completion date of the middle of 2018.

Zhang said the company plans to start construction of the RE projects by March and that they are presently working on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

This latest investment is said to be an offshoot of the successful visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China last October.

“We are very excited with opportunities in the Philippine power sector and we are very bullish of our investments under the Duterte administration,” Natividad said.

The projects are expected to generate 2,000 jobs during construction and 500 jobs during their operation and maintenance.

“Our projects will not only secure Luzon’s power needs but also help boost the Philippine economy by creating employment and livelihood opportunities,” Zhang said.

The company plans to finance the project construction through equity and local financing.

Zhang said the 232-MW renewable energy project forms part of Xidian Holdings’ 500-MW renewable energy investment portfolio set for completion by 2020, which also includes possible investments in hydroelectric projects.

Zhang said he also hopes to entice other Chinese investors to invest in the country’s renewable energy sector such as in solar panels and equipment manufacturing.

The company is also planning to put up conventional power plants to balance and address the country’s growing power demand, he said.