URC seeks to connect biomass plant to grid

by Danessa O. Rivera – December 27, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Universal Robina Corp. (URC) is building a point-to-point transmission facility to connect its 46-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Kabankalan to the Visayas grid.

The Gokongwei-led snack and beverage firm has sought the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the power regulator for this project.

The biomass power plant is URC’s foray into renewable energy.

The 46-MW plant will use bagasse as feedstock. Bagasse is a by-product of URC’s sugar mill in Kabankalan, which has a capacity of about 9,000 tons per day.

The company earlier said half of the plant’s output would be used by the sugar mill while the other half will go to the national grid under a 25-year operating contract with the Energy department.

To fully dispatch power generated by the plant to the Visayas grid, URC said a point-to-point limited transmission facility will be built to connect to National Grid Corp. of the Philipppines’ (NGCP) 69-kilovolt (kV) Mabinay-Kabankalan Line. NGCP is the country’s grid generator.

The company tapped Asiaphil Manufacturing Industries Inc. for the detailed engineering and design, complete supply of materials and equipment including delivery, installation and commissioning of the 46-MW biomass plant.

It also engaged the services of Power System Research and Consultancy Group for the supply of engineering services to conduct System Impact Study (SIS) of the plant.

“URC prays that the Commission issue a permanent authority to develop, own and operate the dedicated point-to-point limited transmission facilities to connect the 46-MW Kabankalan biomass-fired power plant to the Visayas grid through a tap connection along NGCP’s Mabinay Kabankalan 69 kV Line,” URC said.

The ERC has set a hearing on Jan. 20 to deliberate on URC’s request.