Nickel Asia, Shell tie-up eyes 650 MW of clean energy capacity by 2025
The partnership between mining company Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) and the Shell Group is aiming to reach 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity by 2025.
Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) CEO Ronaldo Ibasco said that “by 2025, we’re looking at 650 MW of projects that are energized or in construction leading toward 1 GW (gigawatt) a year [later].”
Last July, NAC’s renewable energy arm EPI and Shell Overseas Investments B.V. linked up to develop 1 GW of renewable projects in the Philippines by 2028.
The companies incorporated Greenlight Renewables Holdings Inc. (GRHI) to jointly develop, own, operate and maintain onshore renewable energy projects.
GRHI’s maiden undertaking is a 240-MW solar farm in Leyte province. It is slated for completion by the fourth quarter of 2024 while commercial operations for the first phase of the project could start in the first quarter of 2025.
“For that specific project, we’ve done significant de-risking. We’ve managed to convert the land into industrial,” Ibasco said.
GRHI secured National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ approval to connect the renewable facility to the transmission line. Ibasco added they were also working to secure the right of way.
EPI did not disclose capital expenditures for this year, noting only that about $750,000 or nearly P42 million is usually spent for every megawatt of power produced.
For instance, the budget for a 240-MW solar farm is estimated at $180 million or P10 billion.
“So [solar] PV (photovoltaic) farm alone is ranging between $590,000 to $620,000 per MW, and then if you add [the] balance of [the] plan including transmission lines, it goes up to $700,000 to $750,000 per MW,” Ibasco explained.
Increased ownership equity
As it continues to grow its presence in the renewable energy space, NAC bought additional common shares in EPI worth P2.92 billion. This would raise NAC’s equity ownership in EPI to 95.8 percent.
Proceeds were earmarked for EPI’s operations, operating expenses of affiliate Biliran Geothermal Inc. and subsidiary Mindoro Geothermal Power Corp., and investments in GRHI.
Jobin-SQM Inc. (JSI), the solar unit of EPI, is constructing phase 4A of a solar farm in Subic, Zambales province, with a capacity of 72 MW. This represents an expansion of JSI’s existing solar project in the province.
It is targeted to be completed by the third quarter of next year. Commercial operations is set for the fourth quarter of 2023. INQ