MS 30th Anniversary XXX

Renewable energy lures Euro fund

ThomasLLoyd Group, a leading European asset management and project finance group, is investing $210 million to partly fund renewable energy projects in the Philippines with a total capacity of 120 megawatts. ThomasLLoyd Group chairman Michael Sieg told reporters the company would invest in four biomass projects and a solar project through a joint venture with Bronzeoak Philippines, which was established by Zabaleta & Co. and Bronzeoak Ltd. of the UK. The investment fund already spent $82 million in Philippine renewable energy projects and committed another $132 million to finance the solar and biomass plants. The projects include the 19.99-MW biomass plant of San Carlos BioPower Inc., 25-MW biomass plant of South Negros BioPower Inc. in La Carlota City and 29.99-MW biomass plant of Central Tarlac BioPower Inc. Another project in the planning stage is the 24.99-MW North Negros BioPower Inc.’s biomass plant. ThomasLLoyd and Bronzeoak will also develop a 22-MW solar project under San Carlos Solar Energy Inc., which will be constructed in two phases with total investments of $45 million. “The solar is ongoing. This is based on the Renewable Energy Act. This is a milestone project for the country,” Sieg said. He said financing from ThomasLLoyd would provide the renewable projects a competitive advantage. Sieg said site development works had started at the solar project and were scheduled to be connected and fully operational by the second quarter of 2014. The ThomasLloyd official said the $210-million investment represented nearly half of the $500 million project cost which would be funded through a combination of debt and equity. The San Carlos BioPower facility, estimated to cost $85 million, is located in northeastern Negros Occidental and started construction early this year. It is expected to begin operations in 2015. The South Negros BioPower Inc. biomass facility, costing an estimated $114 million, is expected to start construction this year and be completed by 2016. ThomasLLoyd is also looking at funding the Tarlac biomass facility, which requires  investments of $130 million and due for completion in 2016, and the proposed North Negros facility. Bronzeoak Philippines president Jose Maria Zabaleta Jr. said ThomasLLoyd would most likely take close to a 40-percent stake in the renewable projects, while the remaining 60 percent will be taken by local investors. “The feed-in tariff allocation for biomass power is undersubscribed so all our biomass projects will be under the feed-in tariff,” Zabaleta said. Thomas LLoyd is a leading global investment banking and asset management group solely dedicated to the renewable energy sector in Asia, while Bronzeoak is a leader in the development and implementation of renewable energy projects with its 40-million liter ethanol facility in Negros.
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