WEnergy Global, partners pump US$20m into four Philippines energy projects

NOVEMBER 08, 2019 - 12:08 PM

SINGAPORE-BASED WEnergy Global and its venture partners are investing US$20 million in equity in four new energy projects in the Philippines.

The renewable energy plants from these projects will come onstream in two years, the developer and operator of renewable power plants in Asean said on Friday.

The projects would be designed alike to the newly commissioned Sabang Renewable Energy Microgrid (SREC) project in Cabayugan in Philippines, which was conceptualised in 2013.

WEnergy Global had led the design and development of the project, and now operates the Sabang plant jointly with its Philippine partners Gigawatt Power Inc and Vivant Energy Corporation.

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Atem Ramsundersingh, chief executive of WEnergy Global, said the firm is centred on bringing sustainable renewable energy and the most cost-efficient solution to off-grid or island communities, off-grid industrial estates and new townships.

He added that most multilateral agencies are starting to embrace the building, owning and operating of smart micro-grids for off-grid electrification after seven years of work done by the firm. Meanwhile, investment companies and mega power companies "remain averse".

"The commissioning of the Sabang plant today is a fruition of this goal and how it can be replicated quickly across to other parts of South-east Asia," Mr Ramsundersingh said.

Philippine Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) Alfonso Cusi said more decentralised energy systems through the private sector are needed to end energy poverty and meet the Philippine president's mandate to energise all Barangays and households by 2022.

"DOE encourages re-hybrids in rural off-grid areas and encourages companies to reduce fuel-based power and reduce subsidies for fuels. SREC is an example of that. We are changing our circulars to enable fuel-subsidy reductions," he added.

Looking ahead, WEnergy Global's investment-linked entity CleanGrid Partners, is also separately eyeing deals with close to 15 local authorities in the Philippines to plan, build and operate microgrid projects in their respective jurisdictions.

CleanGrid Partners is a Singapore-based investment entity formed in partnership with ICMG Partners and Greenway Grid Global, an investment entity of Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Corporation PowerGrid Inc. 

The investment entity was formed in January 2019 with an initial commitment of US$60 million for project development and equity financing.