Philippines – New 40 MW cogen unit expected to commence operations

Victorias Milling Co. (VMC) is expecting the construction of new PHP 2 billion (US$40.2 mln) bagassed-based cogen unit with 40 MW capacity to commence operations in September. Construction of the plant started last year, according to local press reports.

VMC President and Chief Operating Officer Eduardo V. Concepcion said “We will be able to export to the grid about 25 MW, while the remaining 15 MW will be for own use. We are also applying this under FIT (feed-in tariff)”.

Should the project qualify under the FIT scheme, the power plant will get priority dispatch in the spot market with a fixed price of power at PHP6.63 (USȼ13.3) per kilowatt hour for at least 20 years.

VMC also bared plans to begin the second phase of its biomass power plant with equal capacity, but reducing the power that will be exported to the grid to only 20 MW.

“Part of the power from phase 2 will electrify the turbines to convert them to use electric power. So steam from the sugar mill will be concentrated on the power plant to maximize power that we will use to run the mill,” Mr. Concepcion added.

Mr. Concepcion also said that they already signed an agreement with the local arm of China-based Wuxi Huaguang Electric Power Engineering Co., Ltd. to supply the boiler for its biomass projects.

At the same time, VMC will also upgrade its distillery to be able to produce bioethanol, aside from potable alcohol. This, on the back of huge local demand for bioethanol. VMC will be using molasses as its feedstock.

“Under the law, bioethanol needs to be sourced from local produce so the demand and the price is high compared to potable alcohol that could be imported,” VMC Chief Manufacturing Officer Linley A. Retirado said during a briefing on 23 January.

The official was referring to the Biofuels Act of 2006 which mandated a 10% bioethanol blend in gasoline, a requirement that industry players still find difficult to fulfill due to a deficiency in local production for bioethanol.

As such, the government still enforces 2% bioethanol blend due to supply issues.

International Sugar Journal

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