Foreign Investors to Marcos Jr:: Lift equity limit of renewables


Foreign investors are asking the upcoming administration of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to lift the foreign ownership limit in renewable energy (RE) projects in order to attract more capital flow, especially for solar and wind projects. 

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AMCHAM) president Frank Thiel said that the easing of equity restrictions in RE investments is among the “policy wish list” that foreign investors will be negotiating with the new administration and its new Energy secretary. 

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and investors from Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Asia have also asked the energy sector to reconsider the legal measures in investing in the country’s energy sector. 

Thiel stressed that more foreign investments could come in should the restrictions are lifted. 

Under the current setup, foreign investors can only own 40% equity in corporate entities developing or owning RE projects. 

In 2020, the Department of Energy has allowed 100% foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development, and utilities. 

Thiel, who is also the Managing Director of Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd Co., said that they would be asking the Marcos Administration to review the regulations of the competitive selection process (CSP) in securing power supply agreements (PSAs). 

The AMCHAM chief says that the “unsolicited bid” provision goes against the intention of the CSP and creates more confusion for investors, 

Just last year, outgoing Senate Energy Committee Chair Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that there are legal studies underway for foreign investors to own and operate solar plants in the country.