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Offshore wind project seen to bolster CamSur economy, tourism

By Connie Calipay

PILI, Camarines Sur --- The provincial government of Camarines Sur is anticipating significant improvements in livelihood, tourism, and economic growth with the establishment of a 1,000-megawatt offshore wind energy project by the Danish firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

In an interview on the sidelines of the launching of the CIP San Miguel Bay offshore wind power project on Thursday night at the Camarines Watersports Center (CWC), Governor Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte highlighted the multi-faceted impact of the project, emphasizing its direct benefits to the local communities.

"On an economic aspect, we can expect a direct impact of 2,500 immediately hired jobs. We can also see an indirect effect on the local economies since they will need suppliers for food, lodging, certain materials, and different aspects such as lifeguards, securities, and housekeeping that they can get in the barangays near the project sites," Villafuerte said.

The governor added that the project would contribute to the local, provincial, and national economies through tax revenues.

He noted that in terms of social impact, the project was anticipated to boost the tourism industry by attracting both local and foreign tourists to the province due to its uniqueness as the first offshore wind energy project in the area.

"Malaki ito, 1,000 megawatts. Ngayon, ang San Miguel Bay is pinupuntahan na, pero ano pa kung makita nila na nakalatag na ang mga wind turbines (This is huge, 1,000 megawatts. Now, San Miguel Bay is already being visited, but what more if they see the wind turbines already laid out)," Villafuerte added.

The large San Miguel Bay is on the Bicol Peninsula of Luzon Island, encompassing the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur.

Villafuerte also said the environmental benefits of the project would include affordable and high-quality energy, aligning with the national government's push for renewable energy to support the country's economic development.

"The shift of the national government to fast-track renewable energy is important to the economic development of the country because these businesses, when they come to Camarines Sur, to other provinces, or to Manila, they need and expect quality, affordable, and reliable energy, and I think this is a strong step in achieving that goal," he said.

The offshore wind energy project will span several towns, including Sipocot, Cabusao, Libmanan, Calabanga, Tinambac, and part of Siruma.

Danish Ambassador to the Philippines, Franz-Michael Mellbin, who graced the launch, expressed his optimism about the success of the project, highlighting the potential for the Philippines to utilize various sources of renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.

He also mentioned the interest of Danish investors in exploring other renewable energy sources in the country. (PNA)

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Franz-Michael Mellbin (3rd from left) together with Camarines Sur Governor Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte (4th from left) and other key officials from the Department of Energy and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners lead the ceremonial launching of the San Miguel Bay Offshore Wind Project at the Camarines Watersports Center in Pili, Camarines Sur on Thursday (May 30, 2024). About 1,000 megawatts of power will be produced by the offshore wind project. (PNA photo by Connie Calipay)


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