Preparing Philippine ports for offshore wind: ADB joins forces with DOE

The Department of Energy (DOE) is collaborating with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a significant venture aimed at identifying nine key ports across the country for potential redevelopment to support offshore wind energy projects.

DOE Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol cited the pivotal role of these ports in the country’s evolving offshore wind infrastructure.

Through a grant, ADB has joined forces with the DOE to undertake an in-depth assessment of nine existing ports to evaluate their suitability for repurposing to meet the specialized demands of offshore wind farms.

These ports are primarily situated in Luzon and Visayas, encompassing vital locations such as Currimao Port in Ilocos Norte, Port Irene in Cagayan Valley, the Energy Supply Base Port of the Philippine National Oil Company in Batangas, in addition to other ports in Batangas, Mindoro, Bacolod, and Iloilo.

Addressing the Wind Energy Forum organized by the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. in Quezon City, DOE’s Mylene Capongcol highlighted the government’s issuance of 79 offshore wind service contracts, collectively boasting a potential capacity of 61.93 gigawatts of clean energy generation.

She emphasized the significance of having suitable port infrastructure as a critical prerequisite for developers engaged in offshore wind project construction.

However, Capongcol noted that none of the existing ports in the country currently meet the stringent requirements mandated for offshore wind ventures, which demand specific water depths and broader access channels.

In response, the DOE and ADB have initiated this pivotal study to evaluate the readiness of these identified ports for redevelopment.

“We have just commenced the study. There will be a series of meetings with ADB to determine the readiness or what kind of upgrading is needed to meet the standards for offshore wind development,” she explained.

The study is expected to conclude by next year, with the goal of enhancing port infrastructure to accommodate offshore wind projects.

Furthermore, Capongcol emphasized that it should be the responsibility of the port developer to lead in the redevelopment project. These identified ports are owned by a mix of private entities and local government units.