Equis JV selects contractor for Filipino hydropower project

The $1bn 500MW energy storage facility will be built by Chinese state-owned engineer Powerchina.

Olympia Violago Water & Power, the developer of a 500MW pumped-storage hydropower project in the Philippines, has selected the Power Construction Corporation of China (Powerchina) as its EPC contractor.

Olympia Violago is a joint venture between domestic developer San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers and renewables-focused investor Equis Energy. The energy storage asset is being developed in Rizal Province, with an expected cost of $1 billion.

Powerchina will design, procure and build the facility. The Chinese state-owned company is known as the world’s largest power EPC contractor, possessing assets totalling $77.1 billion in conventional and new energy generation and infrastructure.

The project is expected to start construction by end of this year, with commissioning planned for early 2022. It will deliver 500MW of mid-merit and peak energy to the grid, and contribute to the government’s push to triple renewable energy generation capacity by 2030.

Singapore-based Equis declined to further comment on project finance.

“The Wawa pump storage project is one of the Philippines’ most strategically important power generation assets in terms of ensuring the immediate reduction of power prices,” said David Russell, the firm’s chairman. Equis owned 97 renewable energy assets with a combined capacity of 4.4 GW across Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand, as of 27 March. It has a further 74 assets and 6.7GW under development.

Oscar Violago, chairman of the JV and SLRB, also described the project as one “of national significance” to ensure a stable supply of energy for generations of Filipinos to come. The developer, in partnership with MidAmerican Energy’s Calenergy Philippines, built the $680 million Casecnan multipurpose project which incorporates rice land in Nueva Ecija and a 150MW hydropower plant.