THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said repurposing ports for offshore wind development will cost around $80 million.

“Right now, we are doing the freight flow analysis that will eventually lead to a roadmap of ports development all over the Philippines,” Elmer Francisco U. Sarmiento, Transportation undersecretary for the maritime sector, said on the sidelines of a ports and logistics forum last week. 

The DoTr has started the study, Mr. Sarmiento said, adding that the agency expects to release the roadmap for ports development in the next two to three years.

“We have started the [freight flow analysis], maybe it will be completed [soon] hopefully. Our roadmap for port development, maybe in two to three years,” he said.

Freight flow surveys are part of the study to determine if ports are suitable sites for offshore wind development.

The Department of Energy (DoE) and the DoTr are leading agencies tasked in ports repurposing to advance offshore wind development in the Philippines. 

Ports will play a crucial role in offshore wind development as their supply chains, infrastructures and other components will be transported from mainland to offshore sites.

“We are studying offshore port development. It is very expensive, our estimate is that it goes up to $80 million,” he said. 

The DoTr said they have identified at least nine potential ports for the offshore wind project. These are: Philippine National Oil Co. Energy Supply Base Port, Mabini, Batangas; Port Irene, Cagayan; Iloilo Commercial Port Complex, Iloilo City; Pulupandan Seaport, Negros Occidental; Port of Currimao, Ilocos Norte; International Container Terminal’s Bauan International Port, Bauan, Batangas; Calabanga Provincial Port, Camarines Sur; and Bulalacao Port, Mindoro Oriental. 

Earlier, the Energy department said it was still studying recommendations for candidates as the 10th port for offshore wind development.

To date, the Energy department has awarded a total of 82 offshore wind energy service contracts, with a potential capacity of 63,000 megawatts (MW) or 63 gigawatts (GW). 

Based on the Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap, the country has an estimated potential of 178 GW in offshore wind resources. 

The Philippines is expecting its first offshore wind project to be completed by 2028, with at least 10 offshore wind projects at a capacity of more than 6,000 MW expected to generate power in the next four years.

Offshore wind resources are expected to help the Philippines reach its goal of increasing the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. — Ashley Erika O. Jose