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22 December 2008 in The Daily Tribune

UK energy unit to put up 2 biomass plants in Panay

Green Power Panay Philippines Inc. (GPPPI), an affiliate company of UK firm Global Green Power PLC has signed a series of electricity supply agreements (ESA) in Panay that will pave the way for the construction of two major renewable energy biomass-fired power plant projects.

This is the first renewable energy ESA signed on the same day that President Arroyo signed the Renewable Energy Bill into law on Dec. 16. We signed agreements with Iloilo Electric Cooperative I and II on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, respectively. The signing of the ESAs will kick-off our RE projects n the Philippines and we are very proud that our contracts are the first to be awarded after the Renewable Energy bill was passed,” Global Green Power PLC founder and CEO David de Montaigne said.

“During my recent meeting with President Arroyo along with Rep. Rachael (Baby) Arenas we were encouraged to develop our projects with all possible haste to deliver energy security, employment and consistent, reliable clean energy to the Philippines,” he said.

The 25 year ESA’s were awarded to GPPPI after their participation in the competitive Request for Offers implemented by the Panay-Guimaras Power Supply Consortium led by its president Fred Villanueva.

GPPPI will put up two 18-megawatt biomass power plants in Panay with an estimated construction cost of $40 million each. The first plant will be “embedded” within the ILECO 11 area and is targeted for completion on January 2011 followed by the second plant several months later.

“We are very thankful for the Energy Department especially Secretary Angelo Reyes and Undersecretary Ramon Santos and officials of the Consortium for upporting renewable energy projects as clean and cost efficient alternatives to fossil fuels,” De Montaigne said.

Albert Dalusung III, Global Green Power PLC chief technical officer, said “the plants will be built to European and international emission standards and will spur economic development through their delivery of consistent, cost efficient and reliable energy to industry and the Ilonggo community.”

“Our renewable energy projects will also ensure the optimization of Clean Development Mechanism for the Philippines,” he said.

Each project is expect to deliver P200 million to the local community where the plants are located during the first year of its operations and P9.3 billion each over the 25-year contract period, De Montaigne added.

“The P9.3 billion is the estimated economic benefit of each project which delivers significant social benefits to the local community. The plants will also help mitigate climate change through collection and utilization of agricultural waste and development of sustainable forestry” De Montaigne said.

Grace Yeneza, GGPC chief compliance officer, who hails from Iloilo, said the alternative income generated by the project within the farming communities in Iloilo will have a significant impact on poverty alleviation due to the creation of over 1,800 direct and indirect jobs to the community.

“As an Ilonggo, I am very happy about the signing of the ESA not only because it will secure electricity supply in the region but also because it will uplift the lives of people there who depend primarily on agricultural production and spur economic development,” Yeneza said.

She lauded the consortium of electric cooperatives in Panay and Guimaras for “the transparent and fair process in their selection of power.