By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE Board of Investments (BoI) said it is expecting $4 billion worth of investment from two Chinese manufacturers of offshore wind equipment.

The two Chinese companies making towers, turbines and blades have recently visited the Philippines, Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo told reporters.

“Hopefully we can close it this year. They have been to the Philippines to look at different locations and I think they are already closing in on one particular location where they might be close to each other,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

He said that the Chinese companies expect to capture orders from offshore wind project proponents holding service contracts with the Department of Energy.

“They want to invest here because of the local demand and then the opportunity to make us as their hub for the region and also the other big markets like the US and Europe,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

On the sites being considered, he said: “It is impossible (for them to locate) inland, they should be situated near a port, for ease of transport from the manufacturing base to the project area,” he said.

He said that the two companies will be getting the standard set of incentives from the government, though it is likely they will qualify for a longer period to avail of incentives.

“They will receive the standard perks. But their investment will presumably exceed the threshold (that will allow) the President (the flexibility to offer) a longer incentive availment period,” he added.

The two companies hope to finalize their location decisions this year, the negotiations for which the government is closely monitoring, Mr. Rodolfo said.

In the nine months to September, approved BoI investments totaled P740 billion, more than double the year-earlier approvals of P362 billion.

Asked whether the BoI is still confident in hitting its P1.5-trillion investment approvals target this year, Mr. Rodolfo said: “We remain hopeful, but it is almost November.”

“The important thing is by the end of December our pipeline of very strong projects will be around that amount, P1.5 trillion,” he said.