Aboitiz taps Chinese-Filipino EPC solar project contractors

Published May 28, 2022, 11:54 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Aboitiz taps Chinese-Filipino EPC solar project contractors

By Myrna M. Velasco

Aboitiz Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of listed firm Aboitiz Power Corporation, has tapped Chinese firm SUMEC Complete Equipment and Engineering Co., Ltd. (SUMEC Engineering) and Filipino firm Hansei Corporation as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors for its greenfield 159-megawatt peak (MWp) solar power project in Aguilar, Pangasinan.

The project comprises two phases – Laoag 1 and Laoag 2 solar farm developments – to be carried out as direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) installations to be sited in Barangay Laoag in Aguilar town. The DC development will be undertaken by SUMEC Engineering while the AC installation to be done by Hansei.

The Laoag solar project is already the second major renewable energy (RE) venture of the Aboitiz group in Pangasinan, the first one being the 94MW Cayanga solar farm development in Bugallon town, which is now under construction and is due for completion by the fourth quarter of this year.

For the two-phased Laoag solar project, Aboitiz Power indicated a June 2023 commercial operations date (COD).

“Once completed, it (Laoag solar project) is expected to generate approximately 261 gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually, equivalent to the yearly power consumption of around 100,000 average Filipino households,” the company said.

The two solar farm projects in Pangasinan would be a follow through to the 59MW SaCaSun solar development of Aboitiz Power in San Carlos, Negros Occidental that was completed in 2016.

On next phases of developments, Aboitiz Power recently partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to carry out an in-depth study to weigh the viability of renewable energy as a solution to energy-starved Philippines.

The country is casting its transition pathway into a clean energy future, but less acknowledged is the fact that the major power grid of Luzon could be perturbed with rotational blackouts starting next year to 2024 or until the time that new major power plants would come online.

With the targeted scrutiny on RE’s potential for the country’s energy future, Aboitiz Power conveyed that it still wants to learn more comprehensively “about how we can generate baseload power that is technically and financially feasible and also scalable.”

Aboitiz Power is one of the energy sector players that made bold pronouncements on massive RE investments. The company’s goal is to rebalance its portfolio so it can have 50:50 ratio of thermal to clean energy technologies by the turn of the decade.

The propounded study will evaluate hybrid photovoltaic (PV) storage technology; and will likewise assess the technical and economic viability of generating power from a combination of different RE sources to be anchored “within the context of the Philippines’ baseload needs and energy supply and demand characteristics.”

Having been a long-time investor in the coal technology space, Aboitiz Power is now changing tone when it comes to the envisioned clean energy future for the Philippines; and most especially in the re-fashioned virtuous goal of many corporates for the planet.