The Philippines has received a 120-million-euro grant ($165 million) from the European Union (EU) for the power efficiency project called Switch to High Efficiency Motors (HEMs) to help the private sector, particularly sugar millers, save on operating cost.
The EU delegation’s Attaché for Environment, Energy and Climate Change Matthieu Penot told reporters in the sidelines of the HEMs launching Thursday at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City that it was the first partnership of the EU with sugar millers in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia for an energy project.
”Europe is supporting a long list of projects in the Philippines and in (the Association of Soutjeast Asian Nations) promoting energy efficiency. This is the first partnership with the sugar mill industry,” Penot said.
The HEMs, a three-year project solely funded by the EU, is implemented in partnership with the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines Inc. (IIEE), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation, Inc. (ASSIST), the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADIFIAP), the Association Action for Sustainable Development (ASD) and the International Copper Association Southeast Asia (ICASEA) and in association with Philippine Sugar Millers Association, Inc. (PSMA), the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
The project aims to increase the deployment of more efficient motors and drive systems in Philippine industries, with sugar millers as the pilot industry; to design a model investment and financing scheme; to implement a replicable pilot project; and to mobilize key stakeholders from both public and private sectors.
HEMs Project Director from IIEE Raymond Marquez mentioned a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2012 which found that 20 companies that invested $8.33 million in high-efficiency motors saved US$ 4.6 million annually in their operating cost.
Potential electricity savings in these 20 firms reached 27,128 megawatt-hours per year.
Hence, the project targets to test an energy-intensive industry in the country like sugar millers to determine the benefits of switching to HEMs.
”We want to make a case for energy efficiency and we want to prove that upgrading equipment increases profitability, particularly of sugar mills,” Penot stressed.
The HEMs project has four target sugar mills for the pilot project namely Lopez Sugar Corporation, Central Azucarera de Tarlac, Central Azucarera de Don Pedro, and Central Azucarera de la Carlota.