Belgian-made wind turbines soon to power Batanes: envoy

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MANILA — Batanes will soon be powered with renewable energy from wind turbines, Belgium’s Ambassador Michel Goffin said, as he bared the plans of a Belgian manufacturer to enter the Philippine market.

“The company (Xant) is selling wind turbines that can fold when there’s a typhoon in just 10 minutes. We will sell (it) in remote areas but we (are planning) in Batanes,” Goffin told reporters during a reception in Makati City on Tuesday night.

He said Belgium’s government is expected to provide seed money worth 700,000 euros to jumpstart the company’s wind project in the Philippines, which includes the installation of its demo turbines.

“I’m hoping the decision will come next week,” he said.

Three French-made wind turbines in the past had provided energy to the island of Batanes — one of the country’s best wind resources — before being tilted down permanently.

According to Xant’s official website, their turbines are easier to maintain than most units because they do not have complex components that require costly maintenance, such as the gearbox and pitch system. More complex components, such as the converter and control system, are easily accessible at ground level, Xant’s briefer read.

Meanwhile, the envoy said numerous Belgian companies, , particularly those involved in renewable energy, have also expressed interest in entering the Philippine market.

“Even though we don’t have several ministerial visits, we have a lot of young, dynamic industries that are interested in the Philippine market and especially in renewable energy — may it be wind, solar, or hydro-power,” he said. -PNA

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