Filipino billionaire Ramon Ang’s San Miguel to switch to solar battery storage this year
San Miguel Corp., controlled by billionaire Ramon Ang, to commission solar-powered battery storage facilities across the Philippines this year as one of the country’s oldest conglomerates steps up investment in renewable energy .
The company said in April last year that its unit SMC Global Power Holdings is investing $ 1 billion to build 31 new battery energy storage systems (BESS), with a nominal capacity of 1,000 megawatts, at across the Philippines. Of those facilities, 690 megawatts of power generation capacity will come on stream in early 2022, while the rest will be operational by the end of the year, San Miguel said on a regulatory filing Wednesday.
“The BESS facilities are intended to increase SMC Global Power’s renewable energy portfolio, which includes the construction of solar, liquefied natural gas and hydroelectric power stations to meet the country’s continued need for reliable and affordable energy,” said said San Miguel.
San Miguel, which accounts for about a fifth of the country’s installed generation capacity, has stepped up investments in renewable energy projects to help the Philippines reduce its carbon footprint. This Southeast Asian country is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, which accounted for more than half of the total electricity produced in 2020 from coal-fired power plants.
Ang, who acquired most of his San Miguel stock from the late tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. in 2012, has transformed the business from brewer and food maker into one of the country’s most diverse conglomerates with interests in real estate, oil refining, power generation and infrastructure.
Its most ambitious project is the construction of a mega international airport – which will cost 740 billion pesos (14.5 billion dollars) – on a 2,500 hectare (25 million square meters) site in the province of Bulacan, about 40 kilometers north of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. When completed, the airport will be able to handle up to 100 million passengers per year, roughly three times the capacity of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the main gateway to the country.
Ang was ranked ninth richest person in the country with a net worth of $ 2.3 billion when the list of the 50 richest in the Philippines was released in September.