EDC gets $315-M loan for Philippines wind power project

Energy Development Corp. (EDC), which has several government contracts for renewable energy (RE) development, signed a $315-million financing agreement with a group of foreign and local banks for the construction of the 150-megawatt (MW) Burgos wind energy project (BWP) in Ilocos Norte.

The finance facility, denominated in US dollars and Philippine pesos, will mature in 15 years.

Eksport Kredit Fonden, Denmark’s export credit agency, guaranteed a part of the dollar loan component. The mandated lead arrangers for the foreign component are Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), DZ Bank AG, ING Bank NV, Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank) and Norddeutsche Landesbank Gironzentrale.

The local component meanwhile was arranged by PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and SB Capital Investment Corp. among a syndicate of local lenders—BDO Unibank Inc., Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank and Security Bank Corp.

“This fresh loan is a sign of confidence from funding institutions on EDC’s ability to execute a strategic business plan for our wind project amid intense competition in the renewable energy industry. With construction in full swing, we are confident that we will meet our target commissioning date and avail of the feed-in-tariff,” EDC president and COO Richard Tantoco said.

Proponents of the Burgos wind project hope to be the first to avail of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme of the Department of Energy. The agency will grant the perks to the first commissioned wind projects that can collectively generate 200 megawatts.

The entire electrical output will be sold under the FIT system pursuant to the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

Once operational, the BWP will be the largest wind farm in the Philippines, with wind turbines and ancillary plant to be supplied and constructed by Vestas, the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer. The project also includes a 115-kilovolt transmission line connecting the wind farm from the Burgos substation to the Laoag substation of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, as well as the expansion of the switchyard/substations.

“The project underlines EDC’s strategy to be the country’s leading diversified renewable power company. As we provide electricity to power approximately 2 million households, we also will displace about 200,000 tons of carbon emissions annually,” Tantoco said.

BWP is one of the largest investments to date in Ilocos Norte. It occupies a 600-hectare site covering three barangays—Saoit, Poblacion and Nagsurot, in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. It is also EDC’s first wind power project after establishing itself as the country’s leading geothermal producer.

EDC recently got one solar and six new wind energy contracts from the Department of Energy. EDC’s solar project will be put up in Burgos, Ilocos Sur, where the company is already developing the 150-MW wind farm.

EDC, a company controlled by the Lopez family, is the world’s largest integrated geothermal producer and one of the leading renewable energy firms in the Philippines, with a portfolio of 1,150 MW of geothermal, and 132 MW of hydroelectric power generation.