Economy



By Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter


Renewables group Bronzeoak targets 320 megawatts in capacity




Posted on March 23, 2015


BRONZEOAK Philippines, Inc. plans to put up more renewable energy facilities, with a target of bringing its total power generation portfolio to 320 megawatts (MW), a company official said recently.

President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta, Jr. said the company is currently working on its first facilities utilizing solar and biomass technologies in San Carlos City.

The first two phases of the solar facility -- involving 13 MW and 9 MW units -- are already operational; while another 10 MW and 13 MW are undergoing development via San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc.

The company, through San Carlos Biopower, Inc., will start building the 20-MW plant in a 20-hectare (ha) property this year.

“It is scheduled to be completed by the middle of next year,” said Mr. Zabaleta during the latest Asia CEO Forum in Pasay City.

“We are looking at further opportunities in the power sector,” said Mr. Zabaleta.

The official also bared plans to put up four more solar projects, two more biomass plants and one wind facility -- all on Negros Island.

In his presentation, Mr. Zabaleta said the second solar project will be built in 44-ha site in La Carlota City. It will have a total capacity of 32 MW.

A 33-MW solar farm will be constructed at a 45-ha site in the municipality of Manapla; and a 30-MW plant at a 53-ha site in Bais City.

The fifth solar project -- which will have a capacity of 50 MW -- will rise on a 60-ha property in San Carlos Economic Zone.

“The second solar project is already in construction. The next three are going through final financing [arrangements] right now,” said Mr. Zabaleta.

“These will go into construction in the next few months,” he added.

For biomass, Bronzeoak is planning a 25-MW plant on a 27-ha site in La Carlota City; and another plant with the same capacity at a 28-ha site in Manapla.

“These two other projects are in the final stages of planning. We’re starting the second one in the second half of this year and the third one in about a year from now,” Mr. Zabaleta said.

A 60-MW wind farm is also in the pipeline. This will likewise be located in San Carlos City.

These projects, once completed, will further cement Bronzeoak’s presence in the local power sector -- particularly in Negros Occidental.

Mr. Zabaleta noted that the company wants to have more capacity installed before the dry months of 2016.

He also added that the goal is not to make Negros Island the center for renewable energy development.

“I think the opportunity exists just as much elsewhere. We are in Negros not because it’s significantly more attractive but because it’s a reflection of where we are and where we do business,” he said.

“We don’t go far from home when there’s a big opportunity in the backyard,” he added.

Established in 2003, Bronzeoak is 70%-owned by Filipino investors.

The company completed a sugarcane-based ethanol and power cogeneration plant in 2008 -- which produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol and 60 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.