Romero-owned power firm acquires Digos solar plant for P1.5 B

Published September 8, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Romero-owned Fort Pilar Energy Inc. has acquired the 40-megawatt solar power facility that is sited in Digos, Davao del Sur in a merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction worth P1.5 billion.

Fort Pilar Logo

According to the buyer-firm, the facility acquisition was from Alterpower Digos Solar Inc. (ADSI), which is a joint venture between Alterpower Specialist Inc., a company affiliated with businessman Alberto Espiritu; and Hanwha Global Asset Corporation of the Hanwha Group of South Korea.

The current installed capacity of the utility-scale solar farm is at 28.59-megawatts; and buyer Fort Pilar is eyeing to scale that up to 40 megawatts.

“Fort Pilar plans to expand the plant to 40MW to reach its full capacity under its solar service contract,” the company said.

The targeted investment for the facility expansion is P500 million; and it shall include upgrade of the plant’s electrical systems; as well as for the procurement of additional solar PV modules.

The site of the Digos plant is considered a prime location for solar irradiation – which has been estimated at the scale of 1,872.4 kilowatt hours per square meter. The plant’s output reaches 43 million kWhs on a yearly basis.

Sheila B. Romero, chairperson of Fort Pilar Energy, stated that “our acquisition of ADSI signals our pivot to the power industry.”

She qualified “while we remain committed to our legacy businesses in infrastructure and transportation, we believe that our company’s shift to the energy industry is a logical transition given our track record in building successful enterprises in challenging industries.”

Apart from this solar facility acquisition, Fort Pilar started pursuing its investment niche in the energy sector via its recent purchase of the 650-megawatt Malaya thermal power plant that was privatized this year by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

The company is similarly injecting P5.0 billion worth of capital spend for the deployment of battery energy storage system (BESS), a technology reinforcement to improve power supply in Zamboanga.

Romero further noted “our investment in a solar power plant in Mindanao reflects our firm belief that the growth of the Philippines lies in the development of our rural areas.”

The Digos solar project officially kicked off commercial operations in 2016, following construction completion by its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Sterling and Wilson, complemented by a sub-contract deal with Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corporation (MIESCOR), its local contractor.

Prior to the facility’s divestment to Fort Pilar Energy, Alterpower Specialist had 65-percent equity in the Digos solar project; while the other 35-percent was owned by Hanwa Q Cells Korea Corporation, which has also been the plant’s supplier of solar panels. ###

 
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