16 December 2009 in The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Firm to invest $1B in biomass plants
SAN LEONARDO, NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines—Global Green Power PLC Corp. plans to spend as much as $1.04 billion to put up 12 biomass power plants in the country over the next eight years.
At the groundbreaking ceremony here for one of its first projects, Global Green president David de Montaigne said the proposed biomass facilities—the feasibility studies for which are being undertaken—would be able to generate a combined 420 megawatts in renewable, clean biomass energy.
Nueva Ecija is one of the 12 areas where Global Green, backed by UK-based firm Global Green Power PLC, is establishing the biomass facilities.
According to De Montaigne, it would take 18 months to construct the biomass power plant here. He said the company was in talks with several local banks on possible funding options.
“We have several lenders offering us the funding. We’re just negotiating the best terms for our customers. They’re all local lenders because all of our costs are in pesos and all of our payments are in pesos,” he explained.
Biomass facilities will also be built in Panay, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Samar, Bukidnon, Negros, Agusan, Ilocos, Mindoro and Davao. Each of the project will have an initial 17.5 MW in capacity but will later on be expanded to 35 MW.
“Each 17.5-MW biomass power plant will deliver an estimated P200 million in the first year of operation and an extraordinary P9 billion over a 25-year period to the local farming and host community through our purchase of local fuels and associated ancillary services such as transport,” De Montaigne said.
Each facility is also expected to deliver an estimated 900 direct and indirect jobs, the company said.
On top of these, each biomass power plant can deliver energy security to the Philippines through the use of renewable fuel sources, foreign exchange savings to the Philippines, as well as climate change mitigation through the use of crop residues.
De Montaigne said the facilities in Panay, Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan have all the necessary permits, including the environmental compliance certificates, Department of Energy endorsement and Board of Investment incentives.
The three projects, along with the facility in Cagayan Valley, are expected to be completed within three and a half years.
De Montaigne said they were considering tapping other renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro and ocean waves.
“So we may expand once the implementing rules and regulations become clearer [as well as] the feed-in tariffs. Then we’ll consider other avenues for renewable energy. But until then, we’re confident with our biomass, but we need to see the feed-in tariff in place before we make our financial planning on the other technologies,” De Montaigne explained.
Feed-in tariffs are regulated incentive structures that typically pay premiums for electricity generated from renewable energy sources.