The Board of Investments (BOI) posted investment approvals of 309.7 billion from January to September of 2013, a 25% increase from Php248.2 billion in the same period last year.

Investments from the locals investors amounted to Php 258.7 billion, a 12% jump from last year’s Php 230.5 billion while foreign investors have pledged Php 51 billion, surging by 185%, compared to Php17.9 billion during the same period of 2012.

Topping the list of foreign investors is the United States which has committed investments of Php41.7 billion or 82% of the total investment nods from foreign sources during the period. The bulk of these investments was generated from the approved project of the American-owned GNPower Limited Co.’s Php41.23 billion 600 MW power project in Bataan.

South Korea contributed Php 2.26 billion in investments, primarily from its Php803 million capital in Mirae Asia Energy Corporation (MAEC)’s solar project in Ilocos Norte and the Php284 million infusion in Daesang Ricor Corporation’s glucose syrup project in Cagayan de Oro City.

Australia invested Php1.79 billion. Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corporation, a fully Australian-owned firm, has committed to invest Php1.78 billion as an expanding export producer of gold bullion with other metal contents in its plant in Agusan del Sur.

Netherlands committed Php1.33 billion in investments through Philnewenergy, Inc.’s solar power project in Davao del Sur. Singapore contributed P492.1 million.

The increase in investment approvals came largely from the approval of big power projects led by the Php41.23 billion, 600 megawatt (MW) plant of GNPower Ltd. Co. in Mariveles, Bataan.

The 100% American owned coal-fired power plant will employ 150 personnel. It is the biggest approved project in 2013 so far. Another one is the locally-owned 400 MW coal plant of Pagbilao Energy Corporation with a project cost of Php 39.9 billion, followed by the Php 31.9 billion 405 MW coal plant of FDC Misamis Power Corporation, another locally owned firm.

Joining the list are the coal-fired power project of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corporation in Malita, Davao del Sur (300 MW) worth Php25.84 billion and SMC Consolidated Power Corporation’s coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan (300MW) worth Php25.51 billion.

Both the San Miguel Consolidated Power Corporation and the SMC Consolidated Power Corporation are 100% Filipino owned and are controlled by one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, San Miguel Corporation.

DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr, highlighted the importance of such power projects in supporting country’s rising power requirements.

“These power projects upon fully operational are crucial in sustaining the power needs of the country’s modernization and industrialization in the years ahead.” Usec. Cristobal said.

The Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Supply Sector (e.g., power generating plants, renewable energy projects) copped the largest share of investment commitments by sector at Php250.69 Billion or 80%, followed by Real Estate Activities, specifically, the Mass Housing sub-sector with Php 34.1Billion or 11% share.

Investments in the Transportation and Storage sector amounted to Php10.54 Billion or 3%, the Manufacturing sector with Php5.05 Billion or 2% share, and Accommodation and Food Service Activities composed primarily of hotels, resorts and other accommodation facilities with Php4.51 Billion or 1% share.

The Energy sector is one of the preferred activities list of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) qualified to avail of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. The BOI is the lead agency tasked to implement the IPP.

These energy projects will augment the power requirements in country. According to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Power Development Plan 2010 to 2030, the country’s peak demand for energy is expected to increase to 24,534 MW in 2030.