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Scottish firm leads biomass power projects in Mindanao

Scottish-led firm MacKay Green Energy Inc. (MGE) is investing about $100 million in a biomass power plant project in Mindanao and related crop plantations for feedstock.

Company chair and CEO James R. MacKay told reporters that the company was set to construct three biomass power stations with a total capacity of 32 megawatts (MW).

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“It will take about $3 million (in investments) per megawatt,” he said.

The projects will be registered for the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) incentive scheme for renewable energy (RE) and are expected to help ease the power supply crisis in Mindanao.

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The projects are being undertaken with local partners. There is a 10-MW project with the Kalilangan Biomass Energy Corp. and another 10-MW project with the Don Carlos Biomass Energy Corp. Both are located in Maramag, Bukidnon province. The third is a 12-MW project with Misamis Oriental Biomass Energy Corp.

Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) show that the two projects in Bukidnon are scheduled for commissioning in December and the 12-MW project may also open around that time.

MacKay said his company’s partnership with the three local firms covered not just the biomass power plants and plantation of feedstock. It also includes related businesses for local sales and exports of by-products (cattle feed, “green coal,” grass pellets, and liquid biofuel).

The feedstock is bana grass, an imported, noninvasive plant used as border plant in sugar plantations.

MacKay has bana grass plantations in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija (130 hectares) and San Miguel, Leyte (1,000 hectares). A new plantation will be established in Amlan, Negros Oriental (6,000 hectares).

The tops of the bana grass have high protein content and are good ingredients for cattle feed.

The cellulosic body parts of the bana grass can be used as biomass feedstock or processed into “green coal” for coal fired power plants, grass pellets for co-firing in household or industrial heating systems, and biofuels (sweet crude oil) to be added to diesel, gasoline, kerosene and aviation fuel. The cellulosic or fibrous parts can also produce paper.

MGE was founded to utilize its advanced green technologies. The company focuses on the development of various renewable energy systems designed to efficiently convert waste and biomass materials into energy and fuel.

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TAGS: biomass, Business, James R. MacKay, MacKay Green Energy Inc., MGE
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