It takes great audacity for a young firm to venture out of the familiarity of its home market and establish a foothold in foreign shores. Bravery is exactly what OWL Energy needed when it first decided to establish an office in the Philippines two years ago.
OWL Energy Managing Director Tony Segadelli told Asian Power just how daunting it was for the firm to leave the familiarity of Thailand, where the company originates from, and make its first tentative steps into the Philippine market. “To go away from our
home office where we have all our contacts, we have all our clients, and we knew the market inside and out, to moving into a
market that we knew but where we had far less contacts—it is very, very pleasing to be able establish ourselves so quickly and to win such prestigious projects,” Segadelli says.
Remarkable track record
Fortune indeed favors the bold, for OWL Energy was already able to clinch a number of big projects and bag a prestigious award
in the short time that it has launched operations in the Philippines. OWL Energy, in collaboration with Bronzeoak Philippines and
ThomasLloyd, clinched the silver award under the solar power project of the year category for its SaCaSol project at the Asian Power Awards 2014.
SaCaSol, the first utility-scale solar power plant in the Philippines, is not the only feather in OWL Energy’s cap. In the longer
term, the group has also been able to leverage on its roots by bringing some Thai clients into the Philippine market. Its stellar
success in the Philippines also provided the necessary springboard for its expansion into Japan, where OWL Energy opened an office just in May last year.
Soon after establishing its Japan office, OWL Energy inked a deal with GE Financial services to provide oversight on multiple
solar energy projects under construction in the country. Foremost among these is the 230-megawatt solar project in Setouchi City,
Okayama prefecture, which will be the largest solar project in Asia. The colossal project is worth ¥90 billion (US$756.5m) and will
occupy 260 hectares of land.
“It’s going to take four years to build the project, and so we are going to have a longterm base there. GE is obviously a major
player in the global energy market so it’s very pleasing to get a project from them,” Segadelli notes.
In addition, OWL will be providing oversight for construction of the 32MW Kumenan and 42MW Mimasaka projects located in the
Okayama prefecture. OWL has been engaged on a long term basis to provide technical support including monitoring construction,
reviewing documentation and providing regular reporting.
But OWL Energy is not going to rest on its laurels even after clinching the mammoth solar power deal. Segadelli states that OWL
Energy’s Japan operations are going to be intensely focused on solar energy in the near term. Following a slowdown in Thailand’s solar power sector, OWL Energy is currently aiding several Thai clients in their search for opportunities in Japan’s robust solar power market.
OWL Energy is also exploring windpower opportunities in Japan. Segadelli states that they are currently working with European
developers and a major EPC contractor to help them gain deeper knowledge of the Japanese market. In the longer term, OWL Energy will also be exploring Japan’s nascent biomass sector—there are a number of wood chip plants in Japan, but there are barely other biomass projects at present.Following several years of robust growth, Segadelli also shared OWL Energy’s plans for further expansion in the coming years. “We’re looking at the whole of Southeast Asia, but the one country we’re focused on more than others would be Vietnam,” he says
He adds that OWL Energy is already working with a number of developers in Vietnam.“We’re working with some developers there on working with converting some coal plants from firing anthracite coal andturning that into sub-bituminous because of a lack of anthracite in the country. If that comes through, then we’ll use that to establish an office in the country,” he notes.
In the longer term, which Segadelli estimatesto be within the next couple of decades, OWL Energy is looking to establish an office in every capital city in East Asia and diversify their business from purely power generation into its associated technologies. “For instance, last year we worked on acoal mining study in Myanmar, we worked on building a distribution electrical system within a new city that’s being founded in Cambodia, and we’re just about to be assigned a project for a bioethanol power plant. So we’re looking much more through the energy sector rather than just purely power generation,” he says.
Within a few short years, OWL Energyhas proven time and again that power canindeed be generated through wisdom.With its
expertise and proven excellence,OWL Energy indeed has plenty of opportunities to spread its wings in its bidto power Asia’s booming
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