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IFC and First Balfour Team to Promote EVs in the Philippines and Accelerate Green Transition

IFC and First Balfour Team to Promote EVs in the Philippines and Accelerate Green Transition

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IFC and First Balfour, a leading engineering and construction company in the Philippines, have agreed to collaborate to ramp up efforts to decarbonize the transport sector, supporting the country’s climate goals. Under the agreement, IFC will help First Balfour conduct assessments and viability studies to develop a robust electric vehicle system in the First Philippine Industrial Park (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. 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.  

Located around 50 km 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 the Filipino conglomerate First Philippine Holdings (FPH) and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation. First Balfour, which took part in the development of some of FPIP’s infrastructure, is a wholly owned subsidiary of FPH.

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“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. 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,” said Anthony Fernandez, President and Chief Operating Officer of First Balfour.

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.

“A huge investment opportunity over the next decade, 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,” said Jean-Marc Arbogast, IFC Country Manager for the Philippines. “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.”

IFC has been at the forefront of promoting green mobility in Asia. In Thailand, IFC subscribed to a $100 million green bond issued by TMBThanachart Bank Public Company Limited (ttb), the first green bond to focus exclusively on the EV industry.

Ranked among the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change, transport is the largest source of air pollution and energy-related greenhouse gases (31% of total GHG emissions) in the Philippines. In line with its Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, EVs can help the country meet its target of reducing GHG emissions by 75% of baseline by 2030, especially if similar projects are replicated across industrial parks and applied to other modes of transport and logistics.

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