DTI: RE projects to fill a third of BOI approvals


RENEWABLE Energy (RE) projects are seen to account for a third of the Board of Investments (BOI) P1.5-trillion investments approval target for 2023, according to Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.

In an interview with reporters, Pascual said, “That’s only for [power] generation.”

They are also engaging in talks with a potential investor for renewable energy but related to manufacturing intended for export, Pascual added.

In line with this, the Trade chief explained that the process of investing in the country is a tedious one, noting, that the feasibility study lasts from half a year to one year. After this, he said the investor has to apply for registration with BOI or the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which he said would take another year.

At the Offshore Wind Conference held two weeks ago, Pascual invited Chinese firms to bring in their technology and expertise in equipment design and manufacturing for solar and wind power generation.

At the weekend, Jaime FlorCruz, the new Philippine Ambassador to Beijing, revealed that a big Chinese wind power company is interested in investing in the Philippines.

FlorCruz said he recently met the chief executive officer of Dajin Heavy Industry, the world’s largest maker of wind turbine towers and structural products for offshore wind power projects.

He said Dajin is interested in looking into setting up manufacturing plants in the Philippines.

“They are looking for a place. They need a big area. They wish to set it up close to a port so that they can export, they can ship the products, the base of wind power equipment, overseas,” FlorCruz said in a virtual forum organized by a group of Filipino-Chinese business people.

Dajin’s chairman of the board, Jin Xin, had participated in the Sino-Philippine Renewable Energy Roundtable Business Meeting during the state visit of President Ferdinand R.  Marcos Jr. in Beijing in January.

In 2022, Dajin delivered wind energy products and services to the Philippines worth 150 million RMB (P 1.1 billion).

FlorCruz said he also met with executives from China Power International Development and BYD, China’s equivalent of Tesla which makes electric vehicles,  who are “looking for opportunities” in the Philippines.

The country has allowed 100-percent foreign investments in renewable energy in its bid to attain a 35-percent share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

DTI’s Pascual said the country also welcomes investors in the related sectors of battery energy storage systems and off-grid power supply systems. With this, Pascual pitched to the Chinese officials the incentives available for RE projects.

Pascual said proponents of RE projects may opt to be qualified under Tier I or Tier II of the SIPP, adding that the choice will depend on the “attractiveness” of applicable incentives and the endorsement to be made by the Department of Energy (DOE).

This was among the proposals that Pascual laid out to the Chinese officials as “the demand for energy, especially for green energy, is expected to outpace our current supply level.”

The Trade chief also noted that by 2030, the Philippines aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the country’s power generation mix to 35 percent; and to 50 percent by 2040.

From January to May 2023, investments approved by the BOI reached P532.27 billion, a 158.72-percent increase from the P205.73-billion investment approvals recorded in the same period in 2022. The investment promotion agency said the surge was mainly driven by foreign investments in the renewable energy sector.

Meanwhile, in the first quarter, Pascual said the BOI approved three offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 1,300 megawatts and an estimated investment cost of more than P390 billion.

In April 2023, Pascual, who is also the BOI chairman, said “we aim to attract more RE players globally as full foreign ownership is now allowed under the amended implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act.”