BACOLOD CITY: Bacolod City and its surrounding areas are now assured of additional power supply following the signing into law of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act in March 2015.
This was disclosed by Frank Carbon, the President of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during a briefing at the sidelines of the two-day Disaster Risk Finance – APEC Roadmap for Resilient Economies that started in SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City Wednesday.
Carbon said the law not only allocates a Php2-billion annual budget for the sugar industry but also created two more revenue streams for industry players.
These additional revenue streams are fuel ethanol and power from biomass.
Currently, products derived from sugarcane are primarily sugar, molasses and alcohol.
It takes about seven to eight months to plant and harvest sugarcane, thus, the industry cannot provide bagasse, the leftovers of sugar cane after it has been extracted of its juice, and rice, to biomass power plants.
Carbon said biomass power plants can now have additional waste supply because all marginal lands in Negros Occidental not suited for sugarcane planting will now be planted with trees and grass.
He said only 20 percent of Negros Island’s power supply is internally generated and the bigger part is sourced from Samar, Leyte and Cebu.
Thus, the island is vulnerable to power disruptions since getting supply from another island has its challenges like congestion and breakdown of transmission lines, among others.
But with the signing of the Sugarcane Industry Development Act, Carbon said this would augment imbedded supply.