Biomass power project to rise in Visayas

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the Government of Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, announced an investment of $161 million in three biomass power plants in Negros Occidental.

It said the project is expected to generate 70 megawatts of clean renewable energy for the country. The power plants are being built in the towns of Manapla, San Carlos and La Carlota and will convert sugarcane waste to electricity using a low carbon-emitting process called circulating fluidized bed boiler technology.

Before it was identified as feed stock for biomass power plants, sugarcane waste was burned in the fields, a practice that contributed to air pollution.

“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 in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

He said the Clean Technology Fund as well as Canada’s contribution to the project through the Ifc-canada Climate Change Program have helped make this investment viable.

To date, Canada has provided CA$271 million to the program, to enable climate change investments that are generating significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

“We are pleased to support innovative projects abroad that help reduce global greenhouse gases. Through our partnership with the IFC, the Government of Canada will deliver funds that will enable the growth of renewable energy while supporting the creation of green jobs,” Catherine Mckenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in the same statement.

“We are happy to receive this support from IFC and the development partners,” said Jose Maria Zabaleta, CEO of Bronzeoak Philippines, one of the shareholders for the project. “This funding will help utilize agricultural waste to generate reliable base load power, providing additional income to farmers, reducing fertilizer costs, and helping contribute to a healthful ecology.”

“Thomaslloyd is delighted that IFC has chosen to participate in these investments. With its use of local sugar cane waste, this project is an exciting development for all the stakeholders and especially for the local community,” said Tony Coveney, Executive Director of Thomaslloyd Group Ltd.

WBE (Hong Kong) International Green Energy Limited, another shareholder, will provide engineering and construction services.

In addition to loans from Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, IFC is also mobilizing funding from the Managed Co-lending Portfolio Program, a new syndications platform that offers institutional investors the ability to passively participate in IFC’S future senior loan portfolio.

The three power plants are expected to qualify for the biomass feed-in-tariff of the Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission. The feed-in-tariff is available to energy producers with up to 250 megawatts of biomass generating capacity.

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