$70-M biomass plant soon to rise in Mindanao | Inquirer Business

$70-M biomass plant soon to rise in Mindanao

/ 07:44 PM October 21, 2013

The Eastern Petroleum Group is wrapping up preparations for a $70-million biomass power plant project in energy-starved Mindanao, company chair Fernando L. Martinez said in an interview.

“End of November we’re done with full engineering and ECC (environmental compliance certificate application) submission. Horizontal development (or civil works) completion is in the first quarter of 2016,” Martinez said.

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The 20-megawatt plant in Butuan City and the associated feedstock plantation will be implemented by Eastern Petroleum subsidiary, Caraga Renewable Power Corp. (CARE Corp.).

The initial development will have power generating capacity of 20 MW but Martinez said the company was looking forward to expanding the project as electricity demand rises in the areas around it.

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Wood chips from an industrial plantation of fast-growing trees in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur will be used as feedstock for the plant. Planting starts next month.

The tree plantation will be managed by a separate company under the joint venture of CARE Corp. and the Manobo council Wawa Tribal community in Agusan del Sur.

Eastern Petroleum is conducting soil boring and other tests at the proposed site. The group is also working on getting a service contract for biomass power production.

Data from the Department of Energy show that about half of fuel inputs for power generation in the Philippines comes from renewable energy, mostly from hydropower. Yet the country wants to triple its RE capacity by 2030 to curb its dependence on traditional energy sources such as coal.

The Eastern Petroleum Group is diversifying its product line with a new LPG brand called “EC Gas” and seeks to manufacture the product in the Philippines in time for the integration of member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2015.

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