DOF mulling foreign government buyout of coal-fired power plants

Rise of coal tax can lead to more RE investments

The Department of Finance is looking into the possibility of getting foreign governments to buy out shareholdings in corporations that run coal-fired power plants in the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III stated in a press release that the proceeds from the buyouts may be used to fund the country’s initiative to transition to clean energy as discussed in the recently concluded 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow.

“If we can get the foreign governments to buy out those shareholders and donate the shares of that company to a government — to our government — or to a group, including ADB and other agencies, we can actually shut down that plant and that foreign government would actually be making a contribution to reducing a coal-fired power plant,” Dominguez said.

The proceeds could go into an Asian Development Bank (ADB) partnership that aims to fund the early retirement of coal-run power plants and replace them with renewable energy (RE) alternatives.

The ADB energy transition mechanism is a public-private finance program that aims to reduce coal-fired power generation by retiring coal plants to reduce emissions and replace them with renewable energy use.

Multilateral banks, private institutional investors, philanthropic contributions, and long-term investors will provide capital for the project, ADB said.

The Philippines has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% from 2020 to 2030. Of the 75% target, just 2.71% can be achieved with internal resources, while the remaining 72.29% would rely on international assistance