Japan firms keen on Philippines power investments

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has secured the support of Japan to invest in a power plant with up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) in capacity, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

Cusi said President Duterte’s working visit to Japan has led to another positive development for the power sector.

This as the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), expressed its interest in building a power plant in the Philippines that could be deployed in 18 to 24 months.

The proposed power plant will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will have up to 1,000 MW in capacity, Cusi said.

In previous visits of President Duterte to Japan, Cusi invited Japanese investors to put up merchant power plants in the Philippines through the Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry (METI).

Last year, the Philippines forged a technical cooperation agreement with Japan for technical assistance aimed at improving electric infrastructure and power generation efficiency in the country.

Japan’s interest in building a power plant bodes well for the Department of Energy’s plan to fasttrack the contracting of new generating capacities for 2023-2030, Cusi said.

The energy chief also stressed the urgency of successfully fulfilling the DOE’s priority programs for 2019-2022.

“We have the next three years to help President Duterte realize his vision of helping Filipinos lead stable and comfortable lives. As we revisit the DOE’s midterm action plan, we must think, serve and formulate the appropriate policies in accordance to what will help bring accessible, reliable and affordable energy throughout the entire country,” he said.

In support of the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration, Cusi underscored the crucial role of energy, particularly building sufficient capacity, as the key to sustaining the country’s economic growth.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling on subjecting power supply contracts to competitive selection process, the DOE said it would continue to uphold and protect the right of the Filipino people to receive the full benefits of the country’s liberalized electric power industry, as envisioned by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Cusi said the missionary electrification and the attainment of 100 percent household electrification all over the Philippines continues to be the agency’s top priority in cooperation with the National Electrification Administration, National Power Corp. and the private industry players.

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