21 February 2013

More Subic Bay Investors Eyed

The Subic Bay Development Management Center (SBDMC) disclosed that if this premier Freeport could provide an increasing supply of reliable and cost-effective power, more investors are expected to establish their businesses here.

According to SBDMC President Jeff Lin, administrator of the Subic Bay Gateway Park (SBGP), power costs represent a huge chunk of the cost of conducting business here.

The Subic Bay Gateway Park is a world-class industrial park offering approximately 150 hectares of prime industrial land, and is host to about 80 direct locators, and 60 plus sub-lessees made up mostly of manufacturing and production firms.

“The Philippines currently has one of the highest power rates in the Asian region. Foreign or even local businessman looking at locating and investing here will see this as a disadvantage. We believe we have to try to remedy this somehow,” he said.

At the same time, the SBDMC reiterated its support for the Redondo Peninsula Energy (RP Energy), a fellow SBFZ investor and locator.

Lin also disclosed that the SBDMC and its locators support the power project of the RP Energy, being developed within the Freeport.

They have actually been counting on the power to be supplied by the 600-megawatt power project to the Luzon Grid to help address the need for additional reliable and competitively-priced power.

The Department of Energy’s Philippine Energy Plan states that some 11,000-megawatt in additional capacity is needed until 2030 for the Luzon grid alone.

This projection is based on a 4.8-percent annual growth in energy demand.

This means a new 600-megawatt power plant needs to be online every year, starting 2016 onwards.

During the past, a group of Subic locators already projected the need to increase power supply in the Luzon area to keep up with economic development and avoid a power situation as that in Mindanao.

The Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) reminded local and national stakeholders to recognize the need to move forward with power investments in the Luzon grid.

According to the chamber, the government needs to fast-track the construction of base-load power plants to augment the capacity and provide cheaper power. (Jonas Reyes, Manila Bulletin)