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BY: Claire-Anne Marie C. Feliciano (BUSINESS WORLD ONLINE)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

PNOC Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC) is planning to develop power projects with a combined capacity of more than 300 megawatts (MW) by 2018, an official said last week.

 “We have a five-year plan. These are projects primarily in partnership with the private sector,” Pamela M. Cea-Borlaza, PNOC-RC business development manager, said in an interview in Pasay City.

Ms. Cea-Borlaza said the projects -- involving solar, run-of-river hydro and biomass -- are expected to cost at least $1.2 billion, using the industry rule of thumb of $4 million per MW of capacity.

“It will still depend on different factors and we’ll have partners that will help us fund the projects. So we’re banking on that,” she said.

Included in the five-year plan are a 1.5-MW hydro project in Nueva Ecija; a 50-MW solar project in Leyte; a 100-kilowatt solar rooftop project for Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila; a 6-MW solar rooftop for University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna; and 22 MW in hydro projects in Negros.

The project furthest along in its development, Ms. Cea-Borlaza said, is the 1.5-MW project in Nueva Ecija which involves the utilization of an irrigation canal.

“We expect to see that online in the middle of next year. That’s PNOC-RC and National Development Corp. under a 50-50 agreement. We’re selling the [output of the] project to the local electric cooperative,” she said.

The company will also seek joint venture partners for three run-of-river hydro projects in Negros through an auction scheduled next month.

“These are three small hydro projects with total capacity of 20 MW. The bidding will be on July 9. We initially looked at bidding this last year but sometimes, the private sector requests for extensions,” said Ms. Cea-Borlaza.

PNOC-RC is the renewable energy arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co. The firm holds a 10% interest in the 20-MW Maibarara geothermal power plant in Batangas.

This article originally appeared here.