Published July 20, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Solar Philippines is expecting to corner P10 billion worth of contracts on its planned export of solar panels, with the initial batch targeted next year.
This was indicated to the media by Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste in his talks before the IABC Asia Power and Electricity Week, with him emphasizing that their company will also be expanding operations overseas.
For the P10 billion worth of export contracts, he noted that one of the takers will be a Taiwanese firm; while the rest are Chinese companies.
Additionally, the company is working on expanding its operations in other Southeast Asian countries, primarily Indonesia and Myanmar; and further to India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
For the solar exports, Leviste stressed “while margins are no more than a few percentage points, this will result in 1,000 direct jobs for Filipinos this year, and many more direct and indirect jobs next year.”
That, he said, could be gauged based on the level of production of solar panels at the company’s manufacturing facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas – of which capacity is anticipated ramped up from 200 megawatts equivalent at present to 800MW toward the latter part of the year.
With offshore ventures, Leviste emphasized that total production would further be beefed up to 2,000 megawatts in equivalent from year 2018.
“The company aims to expand to over 2,000MW of annual capacity, and become the world’s largest non-Chinese solar panel manufacturer,” he said, albeit emphasizing that this will not entirely be an easy play for his firm.
Leviste reiterated that Solar Philippines will be “selling its production to Chinese companies seeking to manufacture solar panels from Southeast Asia for export to the US and Europe, where governments imposed tariffs on solar panels made in China.”
He said the company’s targets would be possible, “because current regulations in the US and Europe favor solar imports from Southeast Asia over China,” although he reckoned that the rules may still change.