Global Business Power investing P5b in renewable plants

By Alena Mae S. Flores – April 17, 2018 at 07:35 pm

Iloilo City―Global Business Power Corp. said it plans to invest P4 billion to P5 billion in its foray into renewable energy projects with a capacity of 300 megawatts over the next two years.

“We have a new five-year vision and it will talk about… sustainable energy solutions. In sustainable energy solutions, what comes into your mind is renewable energy. The way we define it is mixing renewable energy sources with fossil fuels,” Global Business Power president Jaime Azurin told reporters.

“Let’s face reality. Renewables will not able to address all the power requirements of a growing economy, but our strategy is to minimize the fossil-based fuels so we do renewable energy projects. The fossil-based fuels will become its back up and that is a new strategy that we are going to adopt to address this RPS [renewable energy portfolio standards],” Azurin said.

Azurin said the company’s five-year renewable energy plan would begin in 2019, but the 300-MW renewable energy portfolio could be completed in the next two years.

The 300-MW capacity forms part of the 1,500-MW capacity target of Global Business Power by 2023. Global Business Power has a total installed capacity of 854 MW, making it one of the leading independent power producers in the Visayas, with facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan and Mindoro.

Global Business Power acquired a 50-percent stake in Mindanao-based Alsons Thermal Energy Corp. in 2017.

Azurin said the company was looking at solar power projects because it had become “competitive” and the company was planning a solar power project of up to 45-MW capacity in Luzon.

He said the company was also planning a “specially designed pumped storage technology” in the Visayas with a capacity of 150 MW that could deliver ancillary service which would be introduced before the end of the year.

“Sustainable energy not only implies addressing power requirements, not only addressing climate change but also addressing grid stability,” Azurin said.

He said an increase in renewable energy use could affect grid reliability.

“So we are going ancillary using different types of technology. And we are already almost at the end of our development stage using pump storage for ancillary, a specially-designed plant.  Only in Europe can you find this,” he said.

Azurin said the company was also looking at developing around 100 MW of biomass power projects, but it was still studying the type of technology to be used.

Global Business Power inaugurated on Tuesday a two-story, 1,863-square-meter clean coal technology training facility which was built at a cost of nearly P300 million in Lapaz, Iloilo City.

The facility, called GBP Institute for Energy, highlights the circulating fluidized bed-boiler simulator to aid optimized operations of power plants.

“The GIE is our strategic initiative to help move the country forward through the creation of a robust pool of highly skilled, highly dedicated professionals who can meet and even exceed the demands of the dynamic energy industry,” Global Business Power chairman Jose Maria Lim said.