September 09, 2018 at 07:15 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
Three biomass power plants of Negros Island Biomass Holdings Inc. with a combined capacity of 70 megawatts and costing around $160 million are expected to be completed next year.
Negros Island Biomass treasurer Don Dia said the group aimed to beat and avail of the extended deadline for feed-in tariff for biomass in 2019.
Dia said the 20-MW biomass project of San Carlos Power Biopower Inc. in San Carlos City in Negros Occidental city was set for completion and commissioning within the year. The 25-MW station of North Negros Biopower Inc. in Manapla town and 25-MW facility of South Negros Biopower Inc. in La Carlota City, meanwhile, are to be completed in 2019.
“We’re now hopefully commissioning (San Carlos) before the year ends,” Dia said.
He said the San Carlos and South Negros power projects were initially covered by an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Wuxi of China before it was terminated in favor of Poyry.
Poyry was also hired as EPC contract for the North Negros project in June.
“We will beat the (feed-in tariff) deadline,” Dia said, adding the approved feed-in tariff rate is placed at P6.60 per kilowatt-hour, subject to the consumer price index adjustment.
He said sugarcane trash would be used as feedstock of the power plants.
Dia said Negros Island Biomass was also eyeing more biomass plants. “The expansion of biomass that we will do is more than just the feedstock of sugarcane... we have hectares of nurseries on different types of biomass,” he said.
Dia said International Finance Corp. would invest in the three power plants.
“They just want to be there. And then they’ll just watch us. We will run the show. They just want that in their portfolio but ThomasLloyd will still be there. I think Ayala (Corp.) by that time will come in again,” he said.
Ayala unit AC Energy Holdings Inc. owns a minority stake in South Negros and a two-percent interest in San Carlos Biopower.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the government of Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, has expressed interest in the projects that will convert sugarcane waste into electricity using a low carbon-emitting process called circulating fluidized bed boiler technology.
“Energy is central to the country’s development, and the Philippines needs to further diversify and secure its energy sources. Converting agricultural waste to biomass power is a sustainable way of creating economic value while caring for the environment,” IFC country manager Yuan Xu said earlier.