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Nikkei Asia ($):

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. has chosen the Philippines as the site for the company’s first megasolar project in Southeast Asia.

Mitsui has formed a renewable energy joint venture with Philippine utility Global Business Power. The solar project in the northern province of Rizal is expected to cost roughly 7 billion yen ($64.4 million), with Mitsui to foot about 40% of the bill.

The megasolar farm, to be completed in March 2022, will generate 115 megawatts of electricity. The power will be sold to Manila Electric, the country’s largest distributor, over two decades.

Global Business Power’s current plants burn heavy oil, coal and other fossil fuels. Mitsui, involved in U.S. and Mexican megasolar projects, will bring its expertise in renewable energy to the table.

The Philippines, home to over 100 million people, is expected to experience some of the greatest growth in electricity demand among Southeast Asian countries.

But coal plants dominate the power mix while renewable energy contributes just over 20%. Plans call for expanding the share of renewables to 35% by 2030. Global Business Power and Mitsui anticipate demand for solar power.

[Takehiro Hasegawa]

More: Mitsui to build megasolar farm in Philippines with local partner

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