By Lenie Lectura – June 7, 2019
from Business Mirror
Last updated on
THE power business of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) targets to add 1,200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy (RE) to its portfolio in five years.
“About 1,200 MW to be finished by 2024, comprised of solar, wind and pump hydro,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said.
He said “70 percent” of the 1,200-MW RE projects “have started” and that the company will be able to meet the target completion date. The company will pursue the completion of these power projects on its own.
Ang refused to divulge more details of the company’s RE plans, citing stiff competition in the power industry. “Ang power business ngayon ay mababa na at ang dami pang issues so dapat may element of surprise…nakabili na kami ng equipment, ginagawa na yung foundation. Mga Environmental Compliance Certificate ang kulang; ginagawa na mga iyon.”
The best locations for SMC’s RE projects, Ang said, are Mariveles, Bataan and Ilocos Norte for wind power.
SMC’s push for RE will help address the country’s growing power needs. The government is projecting that by 2040, the country needs up to 43,765 MW of new power capacity.
Also, the conglomerate said it would pursue to replace coal with rice husks as fuel for its power plants that run on Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology to help boost farmers’ income while it transitions to renewable and sustainable energy generation.
Instead of burning or dumping rice husks, Ang said the company wants to fully utilize this agricultural waste product both as energy source for power plants and income source for rice farmers.
“Rice husk is also used for CFB. Pwede i-replace ang coal ng pure rice husk and pwede patakbuhin ito on pure waste. Ang tawag dito ay multi-fuel design. CFB is designed to run on multi-fuel. Lahat ng plant na binibili namin ganun ang design. Anytime uumpisahan na namin basta may rice husk available,” Ang said.
He earlier explained that emissions from rice husk-based fuel are expected be even lower and that this move will also boost rice farming in the country.
“This way, we reduce our emission further, encourage more farmers to increase rice production, make their lives better and help address a perennial food-security challenge. If we encourage more farmers to plant rice by providing them additional sources of income, our rice sufficiency and food security improves. At the same time, we use palay husks to generate more environment-friendly energy,” Ang had said.
The company is also willing to put up the necessary infrastructure and facilities needed to support rice farmers to collect husks that will be bought from them.