Corporate News

Isabela biomass plant scheduled for completion ‘early 2015’

Posted on February 03, 2014

A 20-MEGAWATT (MW) biomass project in the province of Isabela being developed by Isabela Biomass Corp. (IBEC) is expected to be operational next year, an official from the Energy department said on Thursday last week.

Mario C. Marasigan, the director of the department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said IBEC finally proceeded with development of its maiden project in the province.

“Site development started in September last year but actual construction just began last December,” Mr. Marasigan said in a text message when asked for updates on the project.

“It will be completed early 2015,” he added, putting project cost at P2 billion.

IBEC, in April last year, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the power plant. The 20-MW project is being built in Barangay Burgos in the municipality of Alicia.

IBEC, according to the Energy department, is a company established by a group of six rice millers in Isabela.

The feedstock that will be used for the plant will come from the businesses of these rice millers, according to Mr. Marasigan.

“IBEC is a group of six big rice millers in Isabela. The feedstock that will be used for the power plant will come from their businesses,” Mr. Marasigan said.

The official further said the project, once completed, will be applied for feed-in tariff (FIT) coverage.

Under the FIT, renewable energy developers will dispatch the capacity of their projects to the grid at a fixed rate for a period of 20 years.

The Energy Regulatory Commission approved, in July 2012, FIT rates for run-of-river hydro (P5.90 per kilowatt-hour); biomass (P6.63/kWh); wind (P8.53/kWh); and solar (P9.68/kWh).

The rates are based on the assigned installation ceilings per technology which total 750 MW. Run-of-river hydro and biomass projects are allocated 250 MW each, wind power at 200 MW, and solar power at 50 MW.

Data from the Energy department, however, showed that as of end-December, a total of 63 service contracts with total capacity of 616.83 MW have already been granted to biomass project developers alone. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano