GBP un­veils In­sti­tute for En­ergy in Iloilo

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - By Vic­tor V. Saulon Sub-Edi­tor

ILOILO CITY — Global Busi­ness Power Corp. (GBP) on Tues­day launched a learn­ing in­sti­tute in Iloilo City where its em­ploy­ees can en­hance their skills in re­spond­ing to power plant op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance con­tin­gen­cies as the com­pany pre­pares for ex­pan­sion.

“It took us two years to build this,” said GBP Pres­i­dent Jaime T. Azurin in a press con­fer­ence on the side­lines of the GBP In­sti­tute for En­ergy (GIE) launch in Brgy. In­gore, La Paz District, Iloilo City.

He placed the in­vest­ment in the in­sti­tute at “close to P300 mil­lion,” with ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ees ini­tially as the in­sti­tute’s stu­dents. GIE places the com­pany in a good po­si­tion in the face of its plan to build up its re­new­able en­ergy (RE) port­fo­lio to pro­duce 300 megawatts (MW).

“We just fin­ished our new fiveyear vi­sion, and it will talk about sus­tain­able en­ergy so­lu­tions,” Mr. Azurin said, adding the strat­egy starts in 2019 and ends in 2023.

The ca­pac­ity of GBP by end2023 would be at least 1,500 MW, of which 30% are tar­geted to come from re­new­ables. The ex­pan­sion is ex­pected to cost around P4 bil­lion to P5 bil­lion.

“Sus­tain­able en­ergy so­lu­tions, the way we de­fine it, is ba­si­cally mix­ing re­new­able sources with fos­sil- based fuel,” Mr. Azurin said.

GBP has an ex­ist­ing ca­pac­ity of 854 MW of mostly coal­fired power plants. It is one of the lead­ing in­de­pen­dent power pro­duc­ers in the Visayas, with fa­cil­i­ties in Cebu, Iloilo, Ak­lan and Min­doro.

“Let’s face re­al­ity. Re­new­ables will not be able to ad­dress all the power re­quire­ments of a grow­ing econ­omy. But our strat­egy is to min­i­mize fos­sil-based fuel. So as we do re­new­able projects [what be­comes their] back up are fos­sil­based fuel [plants],” he said.

Mr. Azurin said the com­pany has about 5 hectares to de­velop so­lar farms, start­ing with “maybe 20, 30, 40 [MW]” as it in­creases “the re­new­able part of the de­liv­ery of power.”

“Of course, there are projects to be de­vel­oped,” he said, adding the com­pany is open to ac­quir­ing ex­ist­ing so­lar power projects, es­pe­cially “stranded” ones or those that were built at a huge in­vest­ment but failed to se­cure a guar­an­teed rate for the power they pro­duce.

The GBP of­fi­cial said that to be able to jump­start GBP’s foray into re­new­able en­ergy, it would need ac­qui­si­tions as part of its “cy­cle of de­vel­op­ment” that re­quires projects with ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions, which the com­pany plans to buy, as well plants un­der con­struc­tion or in the pre­de­vel­op­ment phase.

Mr. Azurin said the com­pany could not wait for two years to con­struct a power plant, thus the need for ac­qui­si­tions to quickly achieve the five-year tar­get ca­pac­ity.

“So da­pat meron kam­ing ma­bili (So we have to buy some­thing),” he said.

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