FPHC shuns coal plants, to double wind power capacity

by James Loyola – May 23, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

First Philippine Holdings Corporation, a member of the Lopez group of companies, is shunning coal power plants and commits to invest $450 million to double its wind power capacity in the next three years.

“Today, let me state unequivocally and for the record that FPH and its subsidiaries will not build, develop, or invest in any coal-fired power plant,” said FPHC chairman Federico R. Lopez during the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting. FPC

He added that, “I’m certain that, without having to look too far, this country already has energy alternatives that do not mortgage the future of our children and the future of our planet.”

In an interview after the meeting, FPHC president Francis Giles B. Puno said that, instead of cheaper coal plants, they will instead double their wind power capacity from the existing 150 megawatts (MW) to 300 MW.

“One megawatt costs between $2.5 million and $3 million, so we are going to spend about $450 million for doubling our capacity, that was just the same amount we have spent for our existing 150 MW wind power facility,” Puno said.

He added that the expansion project will start as soon as subsidiary Energy Development Company’s (EDC) application for feed-in tariff (FIT) is approved by the government. “Feed-in tariff” or FIT is a set of incentives granted to renewable energy investors in the country.

EDC currently operates a wind power facility through its unit, EDC Burgos Wind Power Corporation located in Ilocos Norte, with a 150 MW capacity. “We aim to double it in the next three years,” Puno said.

Puno explained that the move to expand their renewable energy facilities is part of FPHC’s objective to encourage other energy-related firms to do away with coal-fired power plants which have high carbon emission, and thus harmful to the environment.

“It is our aim that FPH and its subsidiaries will be among the bright navigating beacons of Philippine industry, lighting pathways towards a decarbonized economy,” said Lopez.

He noted that, “it will not be easy; we will have to explore many roads not yet takenand new business models that challenge old paradigms… I’m hopeful that soon, more in the Philippine business sector will move toward those junctions where their economic interests converge with that of society and the environment as well.”

“We are setting a higher bar for ourselves but, for us, it cannot be any other way. We will help power our nation’s growth ambitions yet achieve this in ways that recognize the need for a livable Philippines and a livable planet,” said Lopez.