After six years of lying low since being branded an oligarch by President Rodrigo Duterte, ultra bilyonaryo Bobby Ongpin unveiled his plan to build the biggest wind farm in Southeast Asia.
Atok Big Wedge (AB) of Ongpin, a crony and trade minister of former President Ferdinand Marcos, is is putting up a 500-megawatt power project on Patnanungan Island which is close to the businessman’s luxury resort in Balesin.
The project is more than three times the 150-megawatt capacity of the Burgos wind farm which is currently the biggest in the region. The project was built by the Energy Development Corp. of the Lopez family last decade at a cost of $30 million per megawatt.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on May 27, AB said it was in negotiations with a major power company from China as its partner in the windpower project.
AB made the disclosure just two days after Marcos’ son, Bongbong, was proclaimed the 17th president of the country.
Bongbong’s unity-themed campaign was anchored on the image of a pinwheel which represented the iconic windmill farm in Bangui, Ilocos Nortebuilt by the Ayala group during his term as governor.
Ongpin was forced to sell his controlling stake in gaming technology provider Philweb to Bongbong’s brother-in-law, bilyonaryo Greggy Araneta, for P2 billion in October 2016 after Duterte publicly named him as one of the oligarchs embedded in the government the President wanted to “destroy.”
Ongpin has stayed under the radar during Duterte’s term as he focused on his luxury resort businesses in Balesin and Baguio.
Aside from Ongpin (58 percent), the other major owners of AB are his nephew Eric Recto (11 percent), bilyonaryo geologist Walter Brown (13 percent), and Duterte crony Dennis Uy (four percent).
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