14 August 2010 in The Visayan Daily Star
Power plant to tap Negros’ agri-waste
Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday announced a green solution to the power shortage facing Negros Occidental, amid opposition from some sectors to the building of coal-fired power plant in the province.
Global Green Power PLC. Corp. officials have informed him that they are interested in building a biomass power plant producing environmentally sound, renewable energy with the use of agricultural waste, he said.
GGPC is a Philippine corporation registered with the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission. GGP of the United Kingdom currently owns 40 percent of GGPC with 60 percent owned by its Filipino partners.
It is currently in the process of building a 17.5 megawatts biomass power plant in Mina, Iloilo, GGPC director Grace Yanesa said.
GGPC’s proposed plant for Negros Occidental will use waste from sugarcane, corn and rice to fuel it and can be completed in 24 months, Marañon said.
It will initially produce 35 megawatts and if successful can be expanded by another 35 megawatts, the governor added.
Marañon said it is his preferred power source, but he is not ruling out the need for a coal-fired power plant, too, to meet the needs of Negros Occidental.
“We will try to stay green if we can,” he said.
He pointed out that Negros Occidental has one of the fastest growth rates in power consumption. After three years an increase in power supply by 70 megawatts will not be enough for the needs of Negros Occidental, he said
Marañon said he was told the GGPC plant will have to be built near the power grid, water, and areas that will supply it with agricultural waste.
Because the fuel that will be used to power the plant will be sourced internally, Yanesa said money for it will stay in Negros Occidental, and not go to Saudi Arabia or some other country.
It is also renewable and green so it will help mitigate climate change, it will not burn carbon into the atmosphere, she said.
She said GGPC is seriously looking into all development requirements in Negros Occidental and beginning preparatory work.
“We are coordinating with the governor to make sure there is local acceptance for the project,” she said.*CPG