Citicore Power targets commercial run of Pampanga solar farm by end-2021

 Citicore Power targets commercial run of Pampanga solar farm by end-2021

CITICORE Power, Inc. is aiming to complete its solar farm in Pampanga by yearend as construction is scheduled to start next month, its top official said on Monday.

“This will probably be one of the fastest construction timelines because we’re aiming to have it commissioned after nine months. We’re hopeful that we would be able to complete the plan by yearend,” Citicore Power President Oliver Y. Tan told BusinessWorld in a phone interview.

The solar facility, a joint venture with Ayala Corp.’s energy arm, is preparing for its scheduled ground breaking “in the second week of March,” he said.

He added that the group was in the process of finalizing the legal and engineering plans as well as the remaining permits for building its 50-megawatt of alternating current (MWac) facility in Arayat and Mexico, Pampanga.

Citicore Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citicore Holdings, Inc.

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Citicore subsidiary Citicore Solar Energy Corp. earlier signed a shareholders’ agreement with Ayala-led AC Energy Corp. and the latter’s unit ACE Endevor, Inc. to build the solar facility.

In a disclosure on Feb. 5, AC Energy said that it would extend a loan of P2.675 billion to the project’s special purpose vehicle Greencore Power Solutions 3, Inc. to finance the facility’s design, engineering, construction, procurement and supply, operation and maintenance.

The project’s construction timeline was already pushed back to a later schedule due to the restrictions caused by the global health emergency, Mr. Tan said.

“We encountered some delays in rolling out. In fact, (we should have broken ground for the) Pampanga project last year but we encountered delays mainly because of the pandemic. We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to catch up this year, especially once the (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccine arrives and we have the immunization going on,” he said.

“We’re looking at things to regain momentum by the second half of the year,” he added.

Once completed, the solar facility would be the first project to contribute to Citicore Power’s goal of reaching a total capacity of 1.5 gigawatts by 2025, Mr. Tan said. This would be on top of the 168 MW that the company’s eight existing solar farms are producing.

On its website, Citicore Power says it is a renewable energy company committed to achieving a “healthy energy mix and lessening the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.” — Angelica Y. Yang

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