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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, December 8, 2011
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‘Negros must find power
to meet 100MW shortage’

BY CARLA GOMEZ

Global Business Power Corp. is not building a coal fired power plant in Negros Occidental because the  conditions for it are  currently not available, but the province must find alternative sources of power before its faces an about 100-megawatt shortage by 2015, GBPC president Art Aguilar said.

Aquilar, who spoke before members of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bacolod City Tuesday night, said “For now we (GBPC) have no plans of building a coal-fired power plant in Negros. The prerequisite conditions are quite formidable.”

To build a coal-fired power facility, GBPC needs a port with a 12 to 15-meter depth to bring in large vessels to deliver cheaper coal, a 15-hectare adjacent industrial area for the plant that is close to the grid, a fresh water source and a market for its power, Aguilar said.

These conditions are not present in Negros, so for now, they are not building a coal-fired power plant in Negros, he said.

He noted the market for additional power is not available in Negros with its electric cooperatives having already signed long term power contracts with other firms.

However, if the mining firms in Hinoba-an and Sipalay in southern Negros Occidental have a need for power, GBPC will be very interested in building a coal-fired power plant there, he said.

Aguilar also said that the figures will show that in 2015 Negros Occidental will have the greatest deficit in power among the island markets at 93 to 100 megawatts.

There is a need for reliable and cost effective power produced in Negros to bring in the investments, he pointed out.

Negros could potentially produce approximately 310 megawatts of renewable energy using biomass and mini hydropower, he pointed out.

Sugar mills in Negros have engaged in biomass co-generation for about a hundred years now, he pointed out.

If existing sugar mills retrofit high pressure boilers, Negros mills could double the amount of electricity they produce for the same amount of bagasse, he said.

“Commercial technology now exists to enable present sugarmills in Negros to export approximately 200MW on the same bagasse supply. If a cost effective way is found to collect dry cane leaves for biomass, this power generation could even be higher,” he said.

Aguilar also pointed out that Negros has at least seven major river systems that could yield from 50‐80 MW using cascading run‐of‐the‐river mini‐hydro technology.

Assuming a Feed‐in‐Tariff of P6‐7/kwh, electricity from mini‐hydro and biomass can compete with coal‐fired power plants, Aguilar said.

He also cited the potential for wind power in Negros Occidental.

There are areas like San Carlos which could yield at least 20‐30MW of wind energy, he added.*CPG

 

 

 

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