Thursday, 8 July 2010

China firm $75-million wind energy project lifts investments in Subic to $185 million

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/node/265669/

Chinese firm Sunnew Subic Investments Ltd. is investing $75 million for the construction of 50-megawatt wind energy projects in Subic Bay Freeport bringing Subic’s the total investments to $185.9 million, which is more than double the $92.18 million approved projects in the first half last year.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) administrator Armand C. Arreza said Sunnew-Subic has proposed to construct 25 wind turbines on a 50,000 square meter each in Mt. Sta. Rita and the Redondo Peninsula sites.

“Once completed, these wind turbines will make Subic the country's first economic zone to have a renewable energy facility,” Arreza said.

The project will produce about 50 megawatts of power by 2012, and will initially employ 103 workers.

The second biggest investment project was pledged by Filipino firm Subic Bay Town Center Inc., which committed a total of $36.42 million for the development of a commercial center.

Tied in at third place in terms of committed investments are Alubat Aviation Composites Phils., a German-United Kingdom joint venture in aviation repair and maintenance services, and Vapco International Corp., a joint Jordanian-Filipino venture, which both pledged $15 million.

“Considering that we’re still on the tail end of the global recession, it’s quite remarkable that Subic would be hitting more than $37 million per month in terms of new investments,” Arreza noted.

“Last year, our monthly investments average in the first half was only about $17 million due to the financial slowdown that affected trade in Subic,” he added.

According to Arreza, a total of 56 new projects were approved by the agency in the first half, compared to 51 in the same period last year.

Of the new projects, foreign direct investments totaled $114.58 million or an increase of 98.28 percent over the first half record of $57.78 million in 2009.

Local investments, meanwhile, reached a total of $71.29 million, a 140 percent increase over last year’s $29.67 million in the first half.

Arreza said that once operational, the new investment projects are expected to create some 6,725 new jobs.

Arreza also noted the growing participation of local companies in the economic development of the Subic Freeport, as the global recession somewhat curtailed the entry foreign investments.

He said that of the top 10 new investors in the first half this year, seven companies are fully Filipino-owned.

Rounding up the top 10 largest projects are: Sands of Triboa Resorts, a Filipino company with commitments of $14.37 million; Fertuna Holdings Corp., Filipino, $5.35 million; Holy Land Subic Foundation, Inc., Filipino, with $5.33 million; San Bernardo Shores Beach, Filipino, $2.21 million; Advance Subic Screw Inc., Taiwanese, $1.5 million; CW-Subic Bay Dev’t, Inc., Filipino, $1.49 million; and Chinmei Metal Mfg. Inc., Filipino, with $1.45 million.

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