Roxas Holdings, GBPC eye biomass power plant project

Posted at 02/19/2014 5:53 PM

MANILA – Sugar group Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) and independent power provider Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC) expressed interest in contributing power to the national grid.

The two firms are planning to conduct a feasibility study, with the help of Pöyry Energy Ltd, for a 40-megawatt biomass power plant in Negros Occidental.

"We hope that the feasibility study on the 40-MW biomass power plant in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, which will use bagasse from our plants, will equip the Group to have stable power supply, and enable our units to contribute excess power to the national grid," said RHI chairman Pedro Roxas.

RHI and GBPC, the power-generating arm of tycoon George Ty's GT Capital, will share in the costs of the feasibility study.

The planned project will focus on cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), which involves the use of a power station to simultaneously generate electricity and usable heat.

ASEAN integration

Roxas and Valencia, meanwhile, said RHI has prepared for the implications of ASEAN integration in 2015, which opens the possibility of industry consolidation.

According to Roxas, RHI is aware of the implications of the tariff reduction on sugar to 5 percent in 2015 from 48 percent in 2010 under the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).

"We felt the pressure and continue to feel the implications of the impending threats and challenges of 2015 - all the more made real by the fact that we only have a window of less than 12 months to implement the necessary action plans. These, more than anything, drive the point that we cannot afford to be complacent," Roxas said.

“We took stock of our capabilities, strengthened our competencies, widened our networks, scouted for opportunities that will solidify Roxas Holdings' sweet position - not only in the Philippines but also outside Asia, and made aggressive but calculated decisions while we continue to nurture relationships,” he added.