An agreement to build a P500-million biomass gasifier project in Bacolor town was signed at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Wednesday between executives of General Electric (GE) and Pampanga’s Best.
The signing was led by GE vice chairman for global growth and operations John Rice; Samuel West Stewart, managing director of Advanced Energy Technologies, and Bacolor Mayor Jomar Hizon, who represented Pampanga’s Best.
West’s group will construct the power plant to be fueled by Napier grass.
The P500-million facility is designed to produce four megawatts using hybrid Napier grass, whose stalks will be used for power generation and the leaves as feedstock for farm animals.
The said grass has more advantages in terms of profitability compared to sugarcane, according to Hizon.
Stewart, meanwhile, said the power plant would be completed in about half a year.
The build-operate-own-transfer project follows the signing of a memorandum of cooperation and understanding between the Department of Energy and the Climate Change Commission to push for a sustained renewable energy program.
“Our continuing goal is to triple our renewable energy capacities by 2030. To date, we remain confident that this aim will be achieved,” Energy Undersecretary Raul Aguilos said, underscoring the crucial role of local government units.
According to Hizon, huge tracts of lands in Bacolor have been found viable for growing Super Napier grass, with about 200 hectares planted to the Thailand “Packchong”, which is suited for gasifier operations.