Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Korean firm investing $71.3m for biomass project in Palawan

by Alena Mae S. Flores
Manila Standard

Phil-Korean Renewable Energy Corp. will invest $71.26 million to build a 30-megawatt biomass project in Palawan that will utilize wood chips for feedstock.

Phil-Korean Renewable chairman Won Gul Lee told reporters the company would use ipil-ipil and coconut as feedstock for the planned biomass plant in Sta. Cruz, Puerto Princesa.

The official said the company planned to start construction of the biomass plant within the year and commission it by 2013.

Lee, the retired president of Kepco Philippines Corp., a unit of Korea Electric Power Corp., said Phil-Korean Renewable would plant more trees to replace those to be used for the biomass plant. He said the company was looking at a plantation of 80,000 hectares in Palawan.

Lee said the power plant and the plantation would generate 3,000 jobs in Palawan.

The biomass plant will supply power to Palawan Electric Cooperative.

Phil-Korean Renewable is a personal investment of Lee and other Korean investors. The project is part of the 26 renewable energy contracts signed by the Energy Department. The 26 are worth a combined $277 million and will generate 466 MW of power.

The company signed last year a memorandum of agreement with Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn for the biomass project.

Energy Assistant Secretary Mario Marasigan said Phil-Korean Renewable was one of the many Korean investors interested in renewable energy projects in the Philippines.

“Other Korean groups are also interested and they are in joint ventures with local companies. Some of these companies are interested in hydro projects,” Marasigan said.

The passage of the Renewable Act of 2008 attracted a significant number of local and foreign investors to the industry.

The Energy Department has already signed around 180 renewable energy projects that will ensure reliable power and cleaner sources of supply to the Philippines.

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