French wind-turbine maker eyes projects in RP

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IN A bid to help and cater to the country’s thrust of focusing into renewable-energy projects like wind, Vergnet Group of France is looking at entering possible ventures with a number of local power generators

In an interview, Emmanuel Bole, Vergnet area sales manager, said his group is hoping to corner the wind-power project tenders issued by companies such as Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and Trans-Asia Energy and Development Corp., as well as the National Power Corp. (Napocor), for its renewable energy-based missionary-electrification program.

“We are looking at setting a wind farm with a combined power output of as much as 187 megawatts [MW],” the Vergnet official said.

Bole said Vergnet has already proposed to help EDC for its planned 86-MW wind-farm power project in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

Vergnet is a developer of collapsible wind-turbine technology specifically designed for islands that are prone to cyclones or typhoons.

Bole said his group is one of the five companies that participated in the bid for EDC’s Burgos wind-farm project, which the latter is still evaluating.

Bole also added that EDC is expected to come out with a decision within the month.

Vergnet, according to Bole, is also tracking the plans of Trans-Asia to develop a 54-MW wind-farm project in Guimaras.

Bole revealed that Vergnet is also helping Napocor’s Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) to provide electricity to off-grid islands and remote areas.

“We will be selecting a number of islands where we could put up our hybrid wind-diesel power plants,” said Bole, enumerating that his group has identified the islands of Batanes, Dinagat, Lubang, Cuyo, San Jose in Mindoro and Casiguran in Aurora—all of which do not have round-the-clock power service. He estimated that the Napocor-SPUG project might have a power output of around 20 to 30 MW.

“The Napocor-SPUG projects are going to be financed by French protocol, meaning a grant from the French government. Within the next two years, we should have plenty of turbines in the Philippines,” he added.

Bole said the thumb rule of investment cost for a wind-power project amounts to at least $2 million to $2.5 million per megawatt. In 2007 Vergnet told the BusinessMirror that it is looking at offering its wind-turbine technology to local wind-energy developers.

In the Philippines, Vergnet has already installed three small wind turbines on Batanes Island in 2003, which have withstood the storms that have passed through the years.

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