Korean firm to invest $ 50-M in RP wind power project

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Korea East West Power Co. Ltd. (EWP),a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), will invest US$ 50 million for the development of a wind power project in the countryEWP has committed in principle to invest the US$ 50 million into Alternergy Philippine Holdings Corp.

Trade Undersecretary Elmer C. Hernandez, representing the Philippine government, signed the Memorandum of Understanding with EWP chief executive Lee Gil-Gu, Alternergy president Vincent Perez and Mr. Kim Dong-Soo, chairman of the Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) in a ceremony held at the Blue House Saturday on the occasion of the official visit of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to South Korea.

KEXIM has committed to provide up to US$ 150 million in project loans to finance wind power projects that EWP and Alternergy will undertake in the Philippines.

Hernandez, also managing head of the Board of Investments (BOI), said the agency’s full support to EWP, KEXIM and Alternergy in the implementation of their projects.

?The BOI will extend its full support and assistance to EWP, KEXIM and Alternergy to ensure the successful implementation of their renewable power projects in the Philippines,? Hernandez said

Secretary Angelo T. Reyes also welcomed the signing of the MOU.

?The investment by EWP into Alternegry marks the first concrete investment generated after the signing of the Philippine Renewable Energy Act in December 2008. An investment of US$ 50 million is a major vote of confidence for the Philippines and the Philippines? renewable energy sector.?

The Philippines ratified last December its landmark Renewable Energy Law which provides incentives to renewable power developers.

Analysts said the Philippines? Renewable Energy Law was the most comprehensive renewable energy law in the ASEAN region.

Last May 25, Reyes signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law, paving the way for its implementation on June 12.

EWP owns six power plants with 9,500 megawatts total generating capacity. The company is shifting heavily into renewable power.

Gil-Gu said the Philippines offered a viable investment prospect, given the huge resource potential and attractive set of incentives for renewable power investors.

?We have also found a viable and credible partner in Alternergy,? Gil-Gu said.

Alternergy is a renewable power company founded by Perez that has identified several wind power projects in the Philippines with potential of about 30 MW to 40 MW each.

KEXIM is Korea?s official export credit agency providing comprehensive export credit and guarantee programs to Korean enterprises engaged in overseas business.

Kim Dong-soo, president of KEXIM, said the US$ 150 million green financing offer to EWP and Alternergy was the bank’s expression of support to the Korean government?s “Low Carbon Green Growth” Initiative, which called for more investment into developing new and renewable sources of energy.

The government is projecting US$ 10 billion investments for renewable energy projects with the recent signing of the IRR.

?Our objective is to double the power being generated from renewable energy sources from 4,500 MW to 9,000 MW in 10 years,? Reyes told reporters in a news conference.

Reyes said several investors for the renewable energy projects had sought accreditation with the Department of Energy (DOE).

A renewable energy project needs about U$ 1 million to US$ 2 million investment per megawatt.

Reyes said that based on research, the country has a potential of 200,000 MW from renewable energy.

?Investors are aggressively coming in as they see the potential of RE development in the country,? he said. (PNA)

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