Wind energy in Philippines: New Ilocos wind farm to start construction

NORTHERN LUZON UPC Asia Corp. (NLUPC) is set to proceed with construction of its 81-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Ilocos Norte.

Mario C. Marasigan, director of the department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said “there was a groundbreaking ceremony of NLUPC’s Caparispisan (Pagudpud) project last Tuesday, Sept. 3.”

Mr. Marasigan said the company will now “move forward with construction of the project” which is expected to be “operational by late 2014 or early 2015.”

NLUPC in July tapped Siemens Wind Power A/S and Siemens, Inc. for the supply and installation of the project’s 27 wind turbines, each with 3-MW capacity.

NLUPC is a joint venture among Ayala Corp.’s AC Energy Holdings, Inc. (ACEHI), UPC Philippines Wind Holdco I B.V. and Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) fund.

Last July, Ayala said its power unit, ACEHI, signed investment and shareholders’ agreements with UPC Philippines Wind and PINAI for the wind project.

The listed conglomerate said an initial equity investment of $220 million has been set for the 81-MW wind farm — 64% of which will be funded by ACEHI; 32% by PINAI; and the remaining by UPC Philippines.

UPC Philippines is a wholly owned subsidiary of UPC Renewables Partners Ltd., while PINAI fund is composed of Government Service Insurance System, Dutch pension fund APG and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd.

The 81-MW project, which will be located in the municipality of Pagudpud, comes on top of ACEHI’s existing investment in NorthWind Power Development Corp., which operates a 33-MW wind farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

Aside from wind power, ACEHI also has investments in a 600-MW coal fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan as well as in a 270-MW coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas.

The company also plans to build a 405-MW coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte within the first half of next year.

Ayala’s net income stood at P12.61 billion in the first half, up 23.02% from P10.25 billion a year ago. Revenues increased 21.04% to P74.60 billion from P61.63 billion, while cost of sales and expenses jumped 20.15% to P58.56 billion from P48.74 billion.