IFC, First Balfour to explore EV system in Batangas ecozone

Jun 26, 2023

The International Finance Corp. (IFC) and First Balfour will study the viability of an electric vehicle (EV) system in the First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) in Santo Tomas, Batangas.

In a statement, IFC said it forged an agreement with First Balfour, an engineering and construction company, to collaborate in ramping up efforts to decarbonize the transport sector, supporting the country’s climate goals.

Under the agreement, IFC will help First Balfour in conducting assessments and viability studies to develop a robust EV system in FPIP, including charging infrastructure targeted to be powered completely by renewable energy.

“FPIP has been looking at ways to create a stronger, more efficient transportation system within and outside the industrial park, in a manner that is inclusive and beneficial to locators, current transport service providers, and the nearby communities,” IFC said.

“By participating in the assessments and viability studies, it can also obtain deeper insights on movements inside the park to develop appropriate transport strategies and other approaches to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the future,” it added.

Located around 50 kilometers away from Manila and spread over 500 hectares, FPIP is one of the largest industrial parks in the Philippines, hosting more than 140 locators employing about 70,000 employees.

FPIP is a joint venture between First Philippine Holdings (FPH) and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp.. First Balfour, which took part in the development of some of FPIP’s infrastructure, is a wholly owned subsidiary of FPH.

“Aligning with our mission towards decarbonization, we are actively exploring opportunities in the electric vehicle space to be able to provide an integrated infrastructure and services to our customers, such as FPIP,” Anthony Fernandez, First Balfour president and chief operating officer said.

“In this context, IFC’s expertise will help us develop highly relevant market solutions that will ultimately help us to contribute to our country’s resilient future,” he added.

An increasing number of businesses in the Philippines are looking to explore EV adoption to help green their operations, but technical expertise is thin and successful business cases—especially those of significant scale—are few.

Jean-Marc Arbogast, IFC Philippine country manager said electric vehicles are critical in the fight against climate change and can help reduce emissions, lower transport costs, and create thousands of green jobs.

“So, developing an efficient and thriving e-mobility ecosystem is crucial for the Philippines to meet its climate commitments,” Arbogast said.

“The project will also help diversify FPIP and First Balfour’s infrastructure services and hopefully bring in new market players and spur the evolution of the local electric vehicle segment in the country,” he added.