China looking to partner for energy projects with Philippines

·Contributor
·2 min read
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao gestures during a news conference at the Ambassador's residence at the country's financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines Thursday, June 9, 2011. China warned Asian neighbors Thursday to stop searching for oil near the disputed Spratly Islands and vowed to assert its sovereignty over the potentially petroleum-rich territory in the South China Sea despite rival claims. (PHOTO: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao gestures during a news conference at the Ambassador's residence at the country's financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines Thursday, June 9, 2011. China warned Asian neighbors Thursday to stop searching for oil near the disputed Spratly Islands and vowed to assert its sovereignty over the potentially petroleum-rich territory in the South China Sea despite rival claims. (PHOTO: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

China is seeking more projects with the Philippine energy sector as it boasts its renewable energy technologies like hydropower and solar panels, according to its former envoy to Manila.

During his three-day visit to the Philippines, Chinese Minister of International Department Liu Jianchao highlighted Beijing’s four "key priority" areas of cooperation it aims to develop with the Philippines namely: agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and people-to-people relations.

"We are ready to work with the Philippines in energy sectors. We have the largest hydro power generation in the world," Liu said, adding that China also intends to help the Philippines develop solar energy.

"We are the largest solar panel producer in the world," Liu added.

The ambassador also said that China wants to discuss coal power plant financing with the Philippine government since both countries support efforts to address climate change.

Currently, China is the largest public financier of coal overseas, accounting for over 60% of public financing between 2013 and 2018, according to research by the Global Development Policy Center’s Gallagher and colleague Xinyue Ma.

China, however, claimed that its carbon emissions will start tapering off in 2030 and pledged at the UN in 2020 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Meanwhile, the Philippine GNPK 4X135MW coal-fired power plant project, which has the largest installed capacity on Mindanao, is under negotiations by the China and Philippine governments as part of its government-togovernment projects.

The said plant is constructed by a consortium joined by Shanghai Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd. (SEPC) and PowerChina Central China Electric Engineering Co., Ltd (PCCEC).

The Philippines currently has several coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions including Calaca power station in Batangas, Masinloc power station in Zambales, Mindanao Steag power station in Villanueva, Pagbilao and Quezon power station in Quezon province, and Sual power station in Pangasinan.

Aside from climate change concerns, some of the country’s coal-fired power plants have raised concerns on health and sometimes displacement of their surrounding communities.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings. The views expressed are her own.

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