EDC to start $300-M wind power project in Ilocos Norte

by Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 01 2013 02:56 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2013 10:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. on Friday inked a deal with wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems, signalling the start of the Burgos wind project in Ilocos Norte.

"Today, EDC is announcing that it is ready to commence construction of its 87-M Burgos wind power project," Jonathan Russell, director at EDC, said during a briefing in Makati.

"When it is completed in 2014, the Burgos Wind Project will be the largest wind farm in the Philippines," Russell added.

The project comprises of three work packages: the construction of the wind farm; putting up a transmission line connecting the farm to the Laoag substation of the National Grid Corp.; and creation of a substation adjacent to the farm and interconnected to the Laoag substation.

Vestas will be supplying 29 V90-3 MW turbines, which are bigger and generates more power than the facility in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

The Burgos wind project is EDC's entry into the wind power sector, complementing its geothermal, hydro and natural gas facilities.

"The project is aligned with the long-term strategic director of [EDC's parent company] First Gen Corp. to be the country's leading diversified renewable energy company," Federico Lopez, chairman at EDC, said at the same briefing.

"It will displace an equivalent of about 129,000 tons of carbon emissions annually and will definitely help mitigate climate change," he added.

Russell said that after the project's completion next year, the firm is eyeing to develop more wind projects. 

Nestor Vasay, chief financial officer at EDC, said the firm is planning to issue bonds to fund the project.

The issuance will be composed of P5 billion to P7 billion and $75-100 million worth of bonds, he noted.

EDC has set aside P32 billion for its capital expenditures this year, bulk of which will be used for the Burgos Wind Project. Last year, the firm spent P22 billion or its capital expenditures.