TUESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2015 –MAKATI CITY-THE PHILIPPINES/ GHENT-BELGIUM Upgrade Energy, a global installer of energy technologies, opens a new office in the Philippines. In a partnership with Philcarbon Inc, a local developer, the Belgian installer of energy technologies will realise renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for both small and large industries in the Philippines.
How does a Belgian based company end up in the Philippines?
For Raf Vermeire, CEO of Upgrade Energy, it was the logical next step in the internationalisation strategy of his company. “With offices in Belgium, Poland, Croatia and Turkey, our company was already well represented on the European market. After establishing an office in China and Hong Kong, we are continuing our Asian story with the establishment of a new office in the Philippines.”
Philippine government urges companies to make the shift to renewable energy
The Philippines are among the countries with the highest energy prices in the world. Moreover, there is a rising demand for energy and energy efficiency, due to strong economic growth. In its plan to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and reduce harmful emissions of CO2 gases, the Philippine government has been encouraging companies and manufacturers to make the shift to renewable energy.
Energy Projects from A to Z
Upgrade Energy and Philcarbon want to help Filipino entrepreneurs to make their business more energy efficient, meet the new energy standards and generate savings on the power costs. “We see a bright future for the realisation of solar projects, not only for sales to the grid, but also for own consumption,” explains Pieterjan Vanbuggenhout, Investment Manager at Upgrade Energy. “High energy prices and relatively high solar irradiation makes investing in solar energy very interesting for companies in the Philippine archipelago. This is especially true for companies with high energy consumption, which have large surface area available on the roof or on the ground for the purpose of installing solar panels.” The joint venture is planning to offer quality energy projects at competitive prices with third party financing not only for large business but also small and medium enterprises, which is the backbone of the Philippine economy.
To jumpstart the partnership, Upgrade Energy and Philcarbon have agreed to jointly put up an industrial solar power project with a 1.8 MW of power generation capacity located in Sta. Rosa Laguna. The start of the project is planned for early 2016. After the completion of the first solar power project, Upgrade Energy plans to expand its service offerings to other technologies. “It is not our intention to install solar panels only,” explains Pieterjan Vanbuggenhout. “Just like in the countries where we already operate, we also want to provide other technologies in the Philippines, such as biomass, cogeneration, waste heat exploitation or small-scale hydropower projects.”
International energy experts joining forces
The feasibility study and engineering is done in Belgium. For permits, financing and construction of the power plant, Upgrade Energy started a joint venture with Philcarbon, a Filipino company with over 10 years experience in the development of renewable energy projects. “Our knowledge and experience in the Philippine market, coupled with the deep technical expertise of Upgrade Energy is in our opinion the key to success,” explains Ruth Yu-Owen, CEO of Phil Carbon. “Since the inception of Philcarbon in 2006, we realised large-scale wind and hydro projects. Since last year we have also been active as a project developer for solar and biomass. Together with Upgrade Energy we can offer companies a complete package.”
Gao Pronove, CEO of the brand new joint venture adds: What distinguishes us perhaps best from other players, aside from offering competitively priced energy projects, is that we do not only cater towards the large multinationals, but also SMEs. On top of that, we offer companies the opportunity to realise energy savings through third party financing. We seek funds from banks and private investors. The company then obtains a favourable power tariff through an external energy manager. It is a system that benefits all parties involved”.
Upgrade Energy is a Belgian company founded in 2008. It has 35 employees. As an installer of energy technologies, Upgrade Energy helps companies and government agencies to reduce their CO2 emissions and to enhance their competitiveness. Unlike conventional consultancy agencies, who often stall in the advisory phase, Upgrade Energy offers a complete solution: a thorough energy study and a detailed plan, from the technical implementation to the monitoring and maintenance of renewable energy systems. Upgrade Energy also acts as an external energy manager. Customers who do not wish to take financial risks, can thus still enjoy preferential energy tariffs and build a green image.
Philcarbon is a Filipino company with over 10 years’ experience in the development of renewable energy projects. PhilCarbon provides a full-cycle and integrative service from project conceptualization, formulation of project feasibility study, project finance packaging, strategies formulation in the development of renewable energy sources for power generation as well as the related transaction documentation for projects eligible under the CDM and trading of carbon credits following the rules and practices under the Kyoto Protocol.
Upgrade Energy Belgium
Tel: +32 9 37 56 937
CEO Upgrade Energy NV
Upgrade Energy Philippines
318-B LRI Business Plaza, 210 N. Garcia St.
Bel-Air, Makati City, Philippines, 1209
Tel: +63 (0)2 403 6389
Investment Manager Upgrade Energy NV firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO Philcarbon Inc.
CEO Upgrade Energy Philippines Inc.