GLOBAL Business Power Corp. (GBPC), the power generation arm of GT Capital Holdings Inc., is rushing the development of its planned 40-megawatt (MW) biomass plant in Negros Occidental in order to qualify for the government’s feed-in tariff (FIT) incentive by 2017.
GBPC chief finance officer and executive vice president Jaime Azurin said: “We’re sure that we will be one of the first to be able to touch the biomass 250 MW FIT allocation by September of 2017.”
The Negros biomass plant is targeted to be completed by 2017 and will utilize sugarcane bagasse as its primary feedstock.
The project is a joint venture between GBPC and Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) of La Carlota.
“We are in the final stages. By the end of this year we will be able to come up formally with our entry into renewables — the first biomass bagasse project that we will do,” Azurin told reporters over the weekend.
Azurin said they have been “very careful” in the development of the project considering that it is the “first big plant that will be built here using bagasse.”
He said they have already hired a foreign consultant to finalize the design that will be bid out by December to engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.
They have tapped Pöyry Energy for the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the biomass project.
Under the contract, the Finnish consulting and engineering company will cover the detailed study of the technical requirements and investment cost of the project.
After the final engineering design, Azurin said they will all decide if the project is a go.
RHI and GBPC will establish a joint venture company to operate the facility at RHI’s Central Azucarera de la Carlota, Inc. in Negros Occidental within two years.
The power plant is expected to supply the energy requirements of the sugar mill as well as contribute the excess output to the grid.
RHI is the country’s largest producer of integrated sugar and ethanol.
GBPC operates power plants based in the Visayas including the 164-MW Panay Energy coal plant, the 246-MW Cebu Energy Development Corp. coal plant, the 109-MW Panay Power Corp. diesel power plant, the 7.5-MW GBH Power Resources Inc. diesel power stations and Toledo Power Co.’s 60-MW coal and 40-MW diesel power plants.