by Lenie Lectura, 06 March 2015
San Jose City I (SJC-1) Power Corp., a renewable- energy (RE) firm controlled by supermarket chain owner Lucio Co, has started commercial operations of its 12-megawatt (MW) biomass facility in Nueva Ecija.
According to an official of the Department of Energy (DOE), inauguration of the power facility took place on Friday.
“We will inaugurate the first phase of San Jose’s 12-MW biomass plant [Friday]. Yes, officially, the commercial operation is set [for Friday],” DOE Director for Renewable Energy Management Bureau Mario Marasigan said.
The company earlier said the power facility will be expanded by another 12 MW by 2016, although Marasigan also said the second phase of the project could happen within the year.
“It’s expected within this year. That’s another 12 MW. It can still be expanded,” the DOE official quickly added.
The first 12-MW facility costs P1 billion. The second phase was likely to cost more or less the same, according to company Chief Operating Officer Edgardo Alfonso.
“Phase 2 is about P1 billion also. We want to utilize the excess rice husks [that are abundant] in San Jose,” he said last year.
SJC-I Power’s biomass project is considered the first project of its size and kind to use 100-percent rice husks to generate electricity. Further, Alfonso said, the project is expected to avoid the burning of about 74,000 tons of sub-bituminous coal or the emission of 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide, thus contributing in the global effort to mitigate the green house effect of harmful gasses.