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3 August 2011 in The Daily Guardian

Power firm constructs facility starting Aug. 7

A RENEWABLE energy firm will begin construction of a biomass facility in Iloilo province this month.

Global Biomass PLC Corp., a Philippine-based company focusing on development of biomass fuel solutions, said it will begin construction of the US$ 4-million research, development and manufacturing facility in Mina municipality on August 7.

In a statement, David de Montaigne, Global Biomass Group chief executive officer, said the 5,000-square meter facility will be known as the Global Biomass PLC Corp. Research Development and Manufacturing facility (GBC R-D-M).

“It’s the very first of its kind in the world. The GBC R-D-M will conduct research, develop, design and manufacture equipment to support the harvesting, collection, transportation, storage and processing of agricultural wastes for use as an alternative to fossil fuels, as well as biomass fuel transportation and handling systems for biomass power plants,” Mr. de Montaigne said.

Mr. de Montaigne said they are seeking registration under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that facilitates the grant of incentives to manufacturers within the renewable energy industry to encourage investment.

“All of this equipment is being designed to help farmers efficiently gather and transport biomass wastes such as rice and corn straw, coconut, banana, pineapple and other biomass residues that Global Biomass PLC Corp. will purchase from farmers and consolidators to use as an alternative fuel that will displace imported fossil fuels,” he added.

Power plant

Meanwhile, Global Green Power PLC Corp. said they are awaiting the approval of the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) rates for renewable energy producers by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) before completing the 35-megawatt biomass power plant also located in Mina town.

The biomass plant will be operated by Green Power Panay Philippines Inc., a sister company of Global Biomass PLC under the Global Green Power.

Global Green Power said the approval of the FiT "will help alleviate the power shortage in Panay and its adverse effects to the local economy while mitigating climate change.”

Maribeth de Montaigne, Global Green Power PLC president, said government should encourage the development of renewable energy technologies that are less expensive than newly-built fossil fuel power plants.

"It is for the nation to decide which of the renewable energy technologies are to be deployed in order to harness clean power within the Philippine archipelago. It is, however, a national disgrace not to encourage, maximize and deploy with all possible haste, renewable energy projects such as Thermal Biomass Grid Connected Power Plants (TBGC) that provide less expensive power than newly built fossil fuel power plants, while delivering extraordinary levels of socio-economic development," Ms. De Montaigne said.

Ms. De Montaigne said fossil fuel plants, specifically coal plants that have received ERC approval, deliver energy prices in excess of P8 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to electric cooperatives and distribution utilities when fuel-pass through is added to their bill.

Global Green Power said its proposed TBGC power plants will deliver power at P7 per kWh through the Renewable Energy Act’s Feed-in- Tariff, should the National Renewable Energy Board’s (NREB) proposed rates are approved by ERC.

Ms. De Montaigne said the company's P7 per kWh electricity price is subject only to the Philippine Consumer Price Index (CPI), minimal Foreign Exchange Rate (FX) fluctuations and has no fuel cost “pass through” burden to the consumer.

"The FiT rate pricing structure will afford Philippine consumers a less expensive and stable power price based on basic cost of living (CPI) increases within the Philippines. In addition to a stable and reasonably predictable energy price, Global Green Power PLC Corporation TBGC power plants provide extraordinary socio-economic development within rural areas," she added.

 

 
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