3 August 2011 in SunStar Cebu
$4-M biomass and manufacturing facility planned in Iloilo
MANILA - Global Biomass PLC Corp. announced yesterday it will begin construction of a $4-million research, development and manufacturing facility in Mina, Iloilo.
Global Biomass Group CEO David de Montaigne said the 5,000-square-meter facility, which will commence construction on Monday, will be the very first of its kind in the world and is to be known as the Global Biomass PLC Corp. Research Development and Manufacturing.
At the facility, Global Biomass will conduct research, develop, design and manufacture equipment to support the harvesting, collection, transportation, storage and processing of agricultural wastes for use as alternatives to fossil fuels, as well as biomass fuel transportation and handling systems for biomass power plants.
Global Biomass is applying to have the facility registered under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which provides incentives to renewable energy producers.
De Montaigne noted that agricultural wastes are either burned in the fields, generating carbon dioxide, or left to rot, producing methane.
Methane and carbon dioxide, both greenhouse gasses, contribute to climate change," he said.
“The collection and purchase of these abundant wastes will provide substantial income to the farming community and help alleviate poverty in rural areas without competing with organic farming requirements,” he said.
The company selected Mina, Iloilo as site of the project due to the town’s progressive development plan, good governance and support of the Iloilo Provincial Government.
Mina is also the site of Green Power Panay Philippines Inc.'s two 17.5 megawatt multi-fueled biomass power plants that are currently being developed.
Global Green Power PLC Corp., the parent firm of Green Power Panay, hopes to complete the facility at the soonest possible time. But like the rest of the renewable energy sector, it is waiting for the release of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), which is pending approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The company believes that the timely approval of the FIT "will help alleviate the power shortage in Panay and its adverse effects on the local economy," while mitigating climate change.
Global Green Power Plc Corp. president Maribeth de Montaigne said government should encourage the development of renewable energy technologies that are less expensive than newly built fossil fuel power plants that have been approved by the ERC.
"It is a disgrace not to encourage, maximize and deploy with all possible haste, renewable energy projects such as the thermal biomass grid connected (TBGC) power plants that provide less expensive power than newly built fossil fuel power plants, while delivering extraordinary levels of socio-economic development," she said.
She pointed out that fossil fuel plants, which got ERC approval, sell electricity at P8 per kilowatthour (kwh) while Global Green Power’s facilities can offer power at only P7 per kwh under the FIT rate scheme.
“The FIT rate pricing structure will afford Philippine consumers a less expensive and stable power price, based on basic cost of living increases,” she said.
She added that the 35-megawatt TBGC facility of the company provides about P817 million within the first year of operation and P33 billion in 25 years. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 04, 2011.