BlueFloat Energy announced its entry to the Philippines on June 2nd, with four Wind Energy Service Contracts (WESCs) in Central, North, South Luzon, and another in Southern Mindoro. Combined, the four sites will deliver a total of 7.6 GW to feed the power-hungry archipelago.
“We are thrilled to bring BlueFloat Energy’s expertise and experience in offshore wind energy to the Philippines. We believe that by tapping into the country’s vast clean energy potential, we can make a significant contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and fostering a sustainable future for generations to come,” Carlos Martin, CEO of BlueFloat Energy told energy journalists at a press conference on June 2nd.
“The Philippines is a source of inspiration for many countries in energy generation…President Marcos’ government is committed to low or no-carbon energy generation in which BlueFloat can help,” Carlos added.
Carlos had just come from Taiwan to reinforce BlueFloat’s Winds of September, a 1 GW offshore wind power project off the coast of Hsinchu in Taiwan. The Philippines is the latest of 4 other projects in the region. The two others are Australia (6.6 GW), and New Zealand (1.9 GW).
Offshore Wind Opportunity
The Philippines is an archipelago well-positioned to harness the power of offshore wind. The World Bank, in a report last year, said an estimated at 178 GW of “technically extractable” total wind resources are available. An estimated 21 GW of offshore wind power may be available by between 2035 and 2040.
“We see and believe that our plan aligns well to enable the transformative agenda of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 as it focuses on developing and protecting the capabilities of individuals and families, enables production sectors to generate more quality jobs and competitive products, and of course consequently, economic prosperity,” said Raymund Pascual, Country Manager of BlueFloat Energy in the Philippines.
Of the four locations previously mentioned, Pascual already hinted at Calapan, in Mindoro Island, 182 kilometers (115 miles) from Manila and Mariveles in historic Bataan, 155 kilometers (96 miles) from the capital. The World Bank Offshore Wind Road Map identifies Batangas and Cagayan as two other sites where OSW players currently share projects.
In a separate interview with CleanTechnica, Pascual explained that it will take between 5 to 7 years of planning and preparation and another 2 to 3 years before the first wind turbine is erected. This period of preparation is crucial — seaports need to be updated or built, and massive infrastructure is required to build the various components like crafting the floating moors or installing the foundations underwater.
“The jobs that just one project will create will be plenty. Think about it — such jobs can keep Filipino families intact — fewer overseas Filipino workers. Because why work in a foreign country when you can earn your keep here? That in turn impacts family togetherness. More work, propels the country’s economy,” Pascual said. The impact of this project in one site is really bigger than just the wind generators.
BlueFloat’s collaboration goes beyond just authorizations and compliances from national and local government agencies, but deeper into the communities where it locates, taking into consideration local talent, suppliers, and even long-term local employment as it pursues its energy projects.
Carlos said that for it to be “nimble and efficient” in each country the company helps both energize and decarbonize, it takes every step to respect local cultures, and provides long-term benefits for the communities in which it operates in.
“It (wind power) is a force for good and a force for change in a community,” Carlos said, responding to a question from the press. “We invest heavily in each phase of our project development, from early stage evaluation to final investment decision and beyond. The communities we site near to are top priority,” he added, saying that BlueFloat has a long roster of technology partners, its own extensive knowledge, and hands-on experience in both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind projects from design to development and execution.
Pascual added that offshore wind power development is a long haul — the first projects will only be built usually after five to seven years of planning and study.
The reasons for the long development period include long environmental studies, and mooring and floating designs which are individually developed for each platform, community impact planning and mapping, the creation of port facilities and local infrastructure needed to produce and hold the massive equipment used for offshore wind generators, transporting the massive blades, constructing the hub and nacelle, and grid preparations are just a few of the pre-work items needed which will require a lot of labor, investment, and local government participation.
As an example, Taiwan’s offshore wind plans have been set as early as 12 years ago.
The country has over 130 offshore wind farms planned. Reports from TGS say that of this number, two of the four currently producing power are the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a located 35 and 60 kilometers (19 and 37 miles) respectively off Taiwan’s west coast, with a total capacity of 900 MW. There are another five in an advanced phase of construction — two are in the build phase, and another two have applied for a service contract.
Top Of Its Class
Out of 15 other legitimate and accepted wind power companies, BlueFloat is the largest in terms of cumulative wind energy service contracts at 7.6 GW.
Its closest local competitor is the Ayala Corporation’s ACEN Group, which currently has 3 existing WESC, totaling 3-4 MW. The Aboitiz Group was also reported by CleanTechnica to have a wind power project with Scatec ASA at 2,400 MW.
The Mariveles Bataan WESC is currently shared by these three companies — ACEN, BlueFloat Energy, and Scatec ASA. It is one of the richest offshore wind resources in Central Luzon, and CleanTechnica sources at the Philippine Department of Energy point to the fact that in terms of advancement of study and process, BlueFloat is clearly ahead of the rest.
BlueFloat Energy, a Spanish company, is proud of its high ethical standards and operations in many other geographies, which are huge advantages when setting up in the Philippines. Its entry into the market fits well within the company’s strategy for the Asia Pacific region, with project developments already underway in Australia (first feasibility license application submitted for Greater Gippsland area in April this year), New Zealand, and Taiwan.
BlueFloat Energy officials say they look forward to supporting the Philippine government in the deployment of the cutting-edge floating wind technology and paving the way for the energy transition.
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