Biomass now open to 100% foreign stake

By Jordeene B. Lagare – October 14, 2019
from The Manila Times

FOREIGN companies can now fully own and operate biomass power plants in the Philippines under a recently signed policy from the Department of Energy (DoE).

The DoE’s newly-released omnibus guidelines for the award and administration of renewable energy (RE) contracts is intended for fast-tracking the development of RE sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean energy, including hybrid systems. It also eliminates hindrances in harnessing RE sources such as application and permitting processes.

One of the salient features of the omnibus guidelines include fast-tracking the application process and making the implementation of RE projects more rigid.

The RE applicant must be a Filipino or, if a corporation, must be a Filipino corporation with at least 60 percent of its capital owned by Filipinos and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), except for biomass and waste-to-energy technology.

In particular, the circular allows 100-percent foreign ownership in biomass plants — foreign firms no longer need to tap a Filipino partner to construct such facilities.

“The reason is it was opined that biomass is not actually a natural resource. You’re not [supposed] to explore. There’s no exploration stage,” said Marissa Cerezo, assistant director of the DoE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau.

Developers themselves made that clarification, specifically for waste-to-energy technology that does not involve exploration of natural resources, according to National Renewable Energy Board Chairman Monalisa Dimalanta.

FOREIGN companies can now fully own and operate biomass power plants in the Philippines under a recently signed policy from the Department of Energy (DoE).

The DoE’s newly-released omnibus guidelines for the award and administration of renewable energy (RE) contracts is intended for fast-tracking the development of RE sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean energy, including hybrid systems. It also eliminates hindrances in harnessing RE sources such as application and permitting processes.

One of the salient features of the omnibus guidelines include fast-tracking the application process and making the implementation of RE projects more rigid.

The RE applicant must be a Filipino or, if a corporation, must be a Filipino corporation with at least 60 percent of its capital owned by Filipinos and duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), except for biomass and waste-to-energy technology.

In particular, the circular allows 100-percent foreign ownership in biomass plants — foreign firms no longer need to tap a Filipino partner to construct such facilities.

“The reason is it was opined that biomass is not actually a natural resource. You’re not [supposed] to explore. There’s no exploration stage,” said Marissa Cerezo, assistant director of the DoE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau.

Developers themselves made that clarification, specifically for waste-to-energy technology that does not involve exploration of natural resources, according to National Renewable Energy Board Chairman Monalisa Dimalanta.