posted June 01, 2016 at 11:30 pm by Alena Mae S. Flores [thestandard.com.ph]
Solar Philippines said it will build one of the world’s largest solar panel factories in Batangas with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts at a cost of more than $1 billion.
Solar Philippines said in a statement the facility would be located in Tanauan, Batangas, with the first section operational by the end of the year. “The total 2 GW [2,000 MW] will cost over $1 billion, but the first phase for this year will be just a fraction of that amount,” Solar Philippines president Leandro Leviste said.
“Increasingly, solar manufacturing is moving from China to Southeast Asia, and we believe that the Philippines can lead that trend. Filipinos are among the best workers in the world, and the large local solar market can add to the demand for otherwise export-only factories,” Leviste said.
A visualization of the pioneering solar factory that Solar Philippines plans to build in Tanauan, Batangas to make solar cheaper than coal in the Philippines. It also aims to make the Philippines the world’s largest solar production hub outside China.
The company said while it had received offers from the world’s largest solar manufacturers to become partners in the venture, it had already begun the procurement process for manufacturing equipment and would start setting up the facility in the third quarter.
The planned facility will utilize state-of-the-art German technology to produce high-efficiency solar panels at the lowest possible cost, it said.
Solar Philippines said given the skills and productivity of Filipino workers, the country could become a solar powerhouse that is competitive on quality and cost.
The facility will eventually create over 6,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs, it said.
Leviste said the facility was being constructed with the aim of lowering panel costs, taking control of the supply chain and supporting the new administration’s agenda to bring manufacturing to the Philippines.
“This is the key step towards lowering solar costs, enabling us to produce electricity cheaper than coal. Instead of importing expensive fuel from other countries, we will manufacture here in the Philippines. Soon enough, our country can become the Saudi Arabia of solar, a leading energy exporter, and Made in the Philippines panels will be used around the world,” Leviste said.
The panels will initially be used for Solar Philippines’ own projects, and later export to the US and Europe. The company forecasts a minimum demand of 500 MW by mid-2017.
Solar Philippines is the first and only company to combine project development, financing and construction in-house in the Philippines.
The company completed the Calatagan solar farm and projects with SM and Robinsons Malls. It aims to make the Philippines the first 100-percent solar economy and a global leader in solar.