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3 August 2011 in Business World Online

$4-M biomass and manufacturing facility planned in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY -- A renewable energy firm will begin construction of a $4-million biomass research and manufacturing 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 facility in Mina municipality on Aug. 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.

He said they were seeking registration under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that facilitates the grant of incentives to manufacturers in the renewable energy industry.


"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.

Meanwhile, Mr. de Montaigne said they were 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 PLC Corp.

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.

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 costs are passed on and added to their bill.

She said their proposed TBGC power plants will deliver power at P7 per kWh through the FiT should the National Renewable Energy Board’s proposed rates are approved by the ERC.

Ms. De Montaigne said the company’s P7 per kWh electricity price is subject only to inflation, foreign exchange rate fluctuation and has no fuel cost "pass through" burden to the consumer


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