RHI, GBPC tap Finnish firm to design Negros biomass power facility

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ROXAS Holdings Inc. (RHI) and Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) have commissioned Pöyry Energy Inc., a Finnish firm, to design a 40-megawatt (MW) biomass power facility in Negros Occidental.

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Pöyry, a global Finnish consulting and engineering company that conducted the feasibility study on the biomass project last year, will undertake the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the cogeneration or biomass facility.

RHI is the country’s largest integrated sugar and ethanol business while GBPC is the power generation arm of GT Capital Holdings Inc.

RHI president and chief executive officer Renato Valencia said the decision to tap Pöyry shows that both RHI and GBPC are focused on world-class standards.

GBPC’s executive vice president Jaime Azurin said the awarding of the FEED contract marks a significant step in the development of their first venture in renewable energy (RE).

“This validates our stern commitment to pursue new energy sources that would support the growing energy requirements of the country,” he said.

Through Pöyry’s technical expertise, Azurin said they aim to come up with a design that would optimize the energy efficiency of the 40-MW biomass power plant project.

“The FEED contract covers the detailed study of the technical requirements and investment cost of the project,” RHI said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Tuesday.

RHI chairman Pedro E. Roxas said the awarding of the FEED contract reaffirms the commitment of both parties to provide a stable and alternative option to the growing concern on the country’s power situation.

RHI, a bio-sugar and bio-energy company, manages 100 percent of the Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. in Nasugbu, Batangas, as well as the Central Azucarera de la Carlota Inc. and Roxol Bioenergy Corporation in La Carlota, Negros Occidental.

It also holds a 45-percent stake in affiliate Hawaiian-Philippine Company.

RHI and GBPC will establish a joint venture company to operate the facility in RHI’s Central Azucarera de la Carlota Inc. in Negros Occidental within two years.

The biomass plant will cater to the energy requirements of the sugar mill and at the same time, contribute excess power to the Visayas grid.

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