Ocean tidal power JV flags need for state guarantees

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French engineers working with San Bernardino Ocean Power Corp. study the San Bernardino Strait as part of the $25-million ocean power project. -- PHILSTAR

H&WB ASIA PACIFIC (Pte Ltd) Corp., a Filipino-French joint venture (JV) building an ocean tidal power facility, has backed the creation of a single state-led guarantee agency.

“Ocean power needs strong government support. The kinetic energy of tidal currents produces stable electricity supply. This is real ‘grid smart’ technology because it can provide steady ancillary service supporting the transmission of electricity from generation to customers up to far-flung areas,” said Antonio A. Ver, president of H&WB Asia Pacific (Pte Ltd) Corp. in a statement.

H&WB and French marine energy technologies and engineering company Sabella SAS are jointly building a $25-million pilot phase of an ocean tidal power plant in San Bernardino Strait.

The project, under special purpose company San Bernardino Ocean Power Corp. (SBOPC), aims to boost the country’s renewable energy portfolio.

Mr. Ver said the government’s plan to put up a single government guarantee system, which was endorsed in October by the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations for President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s approval, will bolster the chances of SBOPC getting the international funding.

H&WB said the project was shortlisted in May 2017 for possible financing under the fifth funding cycle of the International Renewable Energy Agency/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (IRENA/ADFD).

ADFD requires a government guarantee letter and a guarantee agreement for loan applicants that are private entities such as SBOPC.

“The ADFD loan facility is an effective financing strategy for the San Bernardino ocean power plant and securing the funding will certainly accelerate the construction and development phases of the project and jumpstart the development of ocean energy,” he said. — Victor V. Saulon