Corporate News

San Carlos Biopower to invest $90M in biomass power plant

Posted on November 03, 2014

AS its solar projects move forward, the joint venture of Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc. and ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund has announced a $90-million investment for a biomass power plant in Negros Occidental.

Don Mario Y. Dia, Bronzeoak Philippines director, said that San Carlos Biopower, Inc. will embark on a 20-megawatt (MW) biomass project in San Carlos City.

“We already approved funding arrangements for a 20-MW biomass plant worth around $90 million,” Mr. Dia told reporters on Thursday last week.

“It will be funded by a combination of debt and equity on a 70-30 basis,” he added.

Mr. Dia noted that the plant will rise within the same site where the joint venture  -- through San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. (Sacasol) -- operates its 22-MW solar farm.

Construction for the project is eyed in April next year, with operations expected to start after 22 to 24 months.

Mr. Dia said San Carlos Biopower tapped Wuxi Wagwang of China as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project.

“At the same time, Wuxi will also operate and manage the plant,” he added.

Apart from the project, the joint venture also plans to invest $62 million to expand its existing solar farm by 23 MW to bring the total capacity to 45 MW.

Sacasol intends to start construction next month, with commercial operations expected before the end of 2015.

Conergy AG -- which provided the photovoltaic modules for the existing facility -- will also supply the panels for the new plant.

Sacasol also intends to build another 18-MW solar facility worth around P1.8 billion in the municipality of La Carlota in the same province.

Mr. Dia yesterday said this could be expanded by another 22 MW, as the site can still accommodate another facility.

Bronzeoak Philippines was established in 2003 to engage in renewable energy development.

It owns and operates an ethanol facility and cogeneration plant, through San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc., that produces 40 million liters of fuel ethanol, 40 million kilograms of sugar syrup and 60 million kilowatt- hours of electricity every year.
Meanwhile, ThomasLloyd Group is a European global investment banking and investment management group dedicated to projects involving renewable energy and other clean technologies. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano