Solar Philippines has announced that it will build one of the world’s largest solar factories over the next three years. The facility will be located in Tanauan, Batangas, and be designed for an eventual capacity of 2 GW, with the first section operational by the end of 2016.
The company has received offers from several of the world’s largest solar manufacturers to become partners in this venture. In the meantime, it has begun the procurement process for manufacturing equipment and will start setting up the facility in the third quarter of 2016.
The facility will use state-of-the-art German technology to produce high-efficiency solar panels at the lowest possible costs. Given the skills and productivity of Filipino workers, the country can become a solar powerhouse competitive on quality and cost. This will eventually create well over 6,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs, and operate on 100% solar power.
“Increasingly, solar manufacturing is moving from China to Southeast Asia, and we believe that the Philippines can lead that trend. Filipinos are among the best workers in the world, and the large local solar market can add to the demand for otherwise export-only factories,” noted Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste.
According to Leviste, the facility’s objectives are to lower panel costs, take control of the supply chain, and support the new administration’s agenda to bring manufacturing to the Philippines.
“This is the key step towards lowering solar costs, enabling us to produce electricity cheaper than coal. Instead of importing expensive fuel from other countries, we will manufacture here in the Philippines. Soon enough, our country can become the Saudi Arabia of solar, a leading energy exporter, and Made in the Philippines panels will be used around the world.”
Initially, the panels will be used for the company’s own projects, and later export to the US and Europe. The company forecasts a minimum demand of 500 MW by mid-2017.
Solar Philippines is the first and only company to combine project development, financing, and construction in-house in the Philippines. This venture marks a watershed moment on the company’s path towards becoming Southeast Asia’s first vertically integrated solar company.
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