17 December 2009 in The Manila Times
British firm’s second RP biomass project kicks off
Renewable energy firm Global Green Power PLC Corp. is set to put up the second of a dozen biomass plants in the Philippines. On the sidelines of UK-based Global Green’s groundbreaking ceremony for its 17.5-megawatt plant here, the company’s president, Devid de Montaigne, said they will be putting up generating capacity totaling 420 megawatts at a cost of about $1 billion over an eight-year period.
“All of the feasibility is being done for all of the projects. Each of the projects is 17.5-megawatts but expandable to 35-megawatts,” he said.
Global Green’s biomass plants will use farm refuse such as rice and corn husks to generate clean and renewable electricity. They will serve as base-load plants that can run round-the-clock unlike other renewable energy sources whose output depends on the weather.
The company will buy feedstock from local farmers at an undisclosed rate, and will deliver an estimated 900 direct and indirect jobs for each plant.
The company’s biomass project will involve three phases of 140 megawatts each. The first phase is targeted for completion in three years.
Government already gave the go signal for three of the company’s proposed power plants, which will be located in Panay, Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan.
The company started construction of its power plant in Panay island in May last year while its Nueva Ecija plant, which will cost $43 million, will be put up upon financial closing.
“It will take 18 months to construct the plant upon financial closing. So we’ve done all the preliminary bidding for all of the equipment now. We have several lenders offering us the funding. We’re just negotiating the best terms for our customers,” de Montaigne said.
But unlike its Panay facility, whose output has been contracted by distribution utilities in the area, the Nueva Ecija plant’s capacity will be sold directly to the grid once government approves the feed-in tariff for renewable energy sources.
The feed-in tariff is one of the incentives under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. It calls for a pegged price of electricity sourced from renewable energy sources for 12 years and priority purchase and transmission of and payment from the power grid.
The National Renewable Energy Board is studying the incentive and hopes to come up with its recommendations, which will be subject to the approval of the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, by the first quarter of the year.