Sep 192014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07MANILA518.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA518 2007-02-14 09:41 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO7135
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0518 0450941
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140941Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5254
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 000518

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG EAID EINV RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR APPLAUDS US COMPANY INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

REF: STATE 13805

——–
Summary
——–

¶1. Ambassador highlighted USG promotion and American firm
investment in alternative fuels during her February 7 visit to solar
cell manufacturer SunPower and to a Ford plant, the sole
manufacturer of biofuels capable vehicles in the Philippines. These
two U.S. companies are at the forefront of private sector renewable
energy initiatives in the Philippines with significant private
investment as well as partnerships with USAID’s energy program.

——————- ——————-
SunPower – A Leader in Solar Technology
——————- ——————-

¶2. Ambassador and Embassy officials toured SunPower’s manufacturing
plant, a $300 million investment employing 1,200, on February 7.
U.S. firm SunPower is an industry leader in solar power technology,
manufacturing the world’s highest-efficiency solar cells. SunPower
chose the Philippines for its facility because of the large
semiconductor industry with technology similar to solar cell
manufacturing; low labor costs combined with high levels of
education and English proficiency; central location in a region of
low-cost inputs; and, adequate protection of intellectual property
rights. SunPower’s Vice President noted further that the initiative
and resourcefulness of Filipino workers has produced extraordinarily
rapid improvements in quality control and efficiency. SunPower
continues to invest in the Philippines, recently opening a separate
facility for solar panel assembly (which was previously outsourced
to China), and currently constructing a $600 million solar cell
manufacturing facility that will triple SunPower’s Philippine
production capacity by mid-2007.

¶3. SunPower is partnering with USAID to bring solar power to 60
rural schools in conflicted-affected areas of Mindanao, a corporate
social responsibility project that demonstrates strong commitment to
the Philippines. Teaming with USAID’s Alliance for Mindanao
Off-Grid Renewable Energy Project, SunPower’s Solar Energy for Rural
Electrification and Development Project is contributing $500,000 for
solar electrification, and is also working towards development of a
training curriculum for solar power technicians. This is one of
several USAID partnerships with the private sector to leverage USG
funds to bring renewable energy to Mindanao.

—————————
Biofuels Leadership by Ford
—————————

¶4. Ambassador highlighted USG and partner promotion of alternative
fuels at the Biofuels Caravan visit to a Ford manufacturing plant.
The Caravan is a convoy of biofuels-powered vehicles organized by
USAID in partnership with the Philippine Department of Energy, Ford
Philippines, non-government coalitions, gasoline retail chains, and
others. The Caravan is crossing the Philippines to raise awareness
of the benefits of biofuelS, and to kick off development of
regulations to implement the new Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006.
The recently-signed Act mandates a gradual phase-in of minimum
percentages of biodiesel and ethanol in all vehicle transport fuel
sold in the Philippines. Passage of the Act is a major milestone in
the promotion of cleaner alternative fuels, a major thrust of
USAID’s energy program. The use of biofuels has the potential to
reduce Philippine dependence on fossil fuels, reduce harmful
emissions to the environment, as well as promote economic activities
in the agricultural sector.

¶5. USAID officials presented the Philippines Fuel Ethanol Alliance
an advertisement to run in movie theatres to raise awareness of the
benefits of bioethanol. In negotiation with cinema owners, USAID
has already raised more than $200,000 worth of free cinema ad
airtime since the formal launching in January 2007. The Ambassador
addressed the assembled guests, congratulating the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines for passing the Biofuels Act and citing
support for alternative fuels in President Bush’s Energy Policy
Initiatives (Reftel)

¶6. Ambassador and Embassy officials also toured the plant where
Ford manufactures vehicles with flexible fuel engines capable of
using gasoline blended with up to 20% ethanol, the only such
facility within the ASEAN region. Ford’s $20 million investment in
this manufacturing line, together with its support for the Biofuels
Act and the Caravan place it at the forefront of the alternative
vehicle fuels movement in the Philippines.

KENNEY

   

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.