Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Company Seeks Incentives for 2nd Solar Project

SAN CARLOS Solar Energy, Inc. (Sacasol) is seeking government incentives for its second solar power plant in Negros Occidental, which is expected to be operational by yearend.

"San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. is applying for registration with the Board of Investments (BoI) as renewable energy developer of solar energy resources... with project site located in Barangay Cubay, La Carlota, Negros Occidental," according to a BoI notice published in a newspaper on Friday.

The perks sought will be for an 18-megawatt (MW) solar facility that will have 72,000 solar panels. The project is worth P1.8 billion.

Should the firm’s application be approved, it will be entitled to a six-year income tax holiday, duty-free importation of capital equipment; be allowed to employ foreign nationals in supervisory, technical or advisory positions for five years from date of registration; and have simplified customs procedures for importation of equipment and raw materials.

BoI - the government’s main investment arm -- is the agency that approves registration of projects that qualify for such incentives.

The planned 18-MW power plant, should it materialize, will be Sacasol’s second solar facility in Negros Occidental.

A 22-MW power plant worth P1.9 billion -- the biggest solar project in the country to date -- was launched by company officials and attended by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III last month in Barangay Punao, San Carlos City.

Sacasol had also sought state perks for the 22-MW facility and were approved by the BoI last January.

Sacasol is a joint venture of Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. and ThomasLloyd Group.

Bronzeoak Philippines was established in 2003 to engage in renewable energy development in the country. It owns and operates an ethanol facility and cogeneration plant, through San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc., that produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol, 40 million kilograms of sugar syrup and 60 million kilowatt- hours of electricity every year.

Meanwhile, ThomasLloyd Group is a Europe-based global investment banking and investment management group dedicated to projects involving renewable energy and other clean technologies.

Renewable energy is in the 2013 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) the government released in November last year that identifies sectors that can avail of state perks. Other sectors identified in the IPP are export; agribusiness and fisheries; creative industries or knowledge-based services; shipbuilding; iron and steel; mass housing; research and development; infrastructure; manufacture of motor vehicles; strategic projects; hospital and medical services; as well as disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery projects.

The 2013 IPP came into force on Dec. 5 and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were released a week later. It will remain in effect until the 2014 IPP is released.

After missing its self-imposed first-quarter and June deadlines, the Trade department aims to submit this year’s IPP to the Office of the President for approval next month.

The preliminary list of preferred activities shown to reporters at a public consultation for the new IPP last May identified seven sectors: manufacturing; agribusiness and fishery; services; energy; public infrastructure and logistics; and public-private partnership projects. -- D. E. D. Saclag


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