THE Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of Pelletasia Victorias Corp. as a new export producer of wood and grass pellets under a non-pioneer status.
“The potential benefits of wood, especially napier grass, are not yet fully explored to substantially become alternative fuels and contribute to energy independence. These resources can be grown in abundance as demand of energy pellets is seen to continuously grow,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo on Wednesday.
With an annual capacity of 113,568 tons, the P1.48-billion investment project is expected to generate at least 576 new jobs in the next six years.
Pelletasia has already planted napier grass in its plantation located in Sagay City, Negros Occidental and is set to harvest over 70 hectares of the total 300 hectares of the plantation by December 2016, commencing the company’s commercial operations.
“Together with other potential sources of biomass fuels like bamboo and by-products of agricultural crops, these resources are renewable, which ensures their continued supply,” Rodolfo said.
“In essence, bioenergy initiative is not only for energy. It supports agricultural development by adding value to resources which generally are left in the farm or go into waste,” he said, adding that the project is a good example of how to encourage inclusive growth in rural areas while supporting agricultural development.
Pelletasia plans to export majority of its products to Korea and Japan although it is also looking at eventually supplying the local market, particularly sugar millers in the country who are set to diversify into bio-ethanol production from molasses and sugar.
The company sees a huge potential export market for biomass pellets as international demand for the commodity is projected to increase from 19 million tons per annum in 2013 to about 50 to 80 million tons by 2020.