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NEWS UPDATES 18 June 2009

Overseas firms set to start biomass projects in Philippines’ Visayas

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Two foreign renewable energy firms are set to start their respective projects in power-starved Visayas, the island group south of the main Luzon island, reported the Manila Times.

UK-based Global Green Power PLC Corp. said it has commenced with its plan to put up three biomass-fueled power plants in the country as it started the bidding process for the first facility’s equipment and services.

The company, which specialises in biomass or biological materials such as plant or animal matter for power generation, said it will infuse a total investment of $120 million for the three power plants, which will have a 15-megawatt capacity each.

Grace Yeneza, Global Green compliance director, said that the company will implement its first project on Panay Island using the said renewable energy technology.

The project broke ground in May 2009 and is targeted for completion by January 2011. This will then be followed by the construction of the company’s second biomass plant.

Global Green has already signed a 25-year power supply contract with the Panay Guimaras Power Supply Consortium, the group of distribution utilities on the islands of Panay and Guimaras, for its proposed facilities’ output.

It would be recalled that the islands had been affected by slim power reserves because they are located at the tail-end of the power supply chain in the Visayas region, which has been experiencing tightness in power reserves.

In a separate statement, Geothermal power developer Envent Holding Philippines said it has inked a power supply agreement with Biliran Electric Cooperative (BILECO).

Under the deal, BILECO—which serves the electricity needs of the island of Biliran—will purchase 8,600 megawatt-hours of electricity per year for $94 per megawatt-hours from Envent’s proposed 50-megawatt Biliran geothermal power plant.

The supply agreement’s total value over the 10-year term is about $47 million.

Envent is a joint venture between Geysir Green Energy and Reykjavik Energy Invest. Both companies are based in Iceland, where 100 percent of the power capacity is derived from renewable sources.

Envent’s agreement with BILECO is the first in a line of power purchase agreements the company will execute with several electric cooperatives in the Eastern Visayas. The company expects to enter into power deals with a total value of $515 million in the coming months.

While securing the power supply deals, Envent plans to complete the financing of its geothermal plant, which is scheduled to come on line by 2012.



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