Eastern to start power project

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EASTERN Petroleum Corp. will start next year the development of its first power project in Mindanao.

Fernando Martinez, Eastern Petroleum chairman, said site development for a 23.5-megawatt (MW) biomass plant in Agusan del Norte will start in February next year.

The project will be undertaken by subsidiary Renewable Energy Corp. in partnership with foreign investors.

Eastern Petroleum earlier targeted to commission its biomass plant by 2015 but faced delays in securing permits.

The project cost is estimated at P3.5 billion 75 percent of which will be borrowed and the balance, equity.

Martinez added the company is reviewing the ethanol project that it has already started.

“But the ethanol may be sugar cane based because we still import around 60 percent of our requirement,” he said.

Martinez, however, said their ethanol plant project is experiencing delays.

“The ethanol plant suffers delays because it takes more than a hundred signatures to put up an ethanol plant,” he added.

He also said that the company is targeting to expand in 2015 by putting up more retail stations for gasoline and EC Gas liquefied petroleum gas brand.

“We are planning the combination of LPG and retail business. Along with gasoline and diesel, you have LPG. We have more than 100 for EC Gas, next year we’re looking at 50 additional for combined retail outlets. Another, 150 LPG for solo,” he said.

Eastern Petroleum has about 50 retail outlets on top of its EC Gas liquefied petroleum gas brand.

It is one of the companies that set up shop following the deregulation of the downstream oil industry.

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