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First Biomass Gasifier for Rural Electrification in Philippines inaugurated by Gov. Angara-Castillo
Gov Bella Angara-Castillo, Mayor Tubigan inaugurated the first biomass gasification power plant in the Philippines today in Dinalungan, Aurora.
March 17, 2012, Dinalungan, Aurora
Governor Bella Angara-Castillo, Mayor Tito Tubigan, Aurelco President Rudy Soriao, APECO CEO Robbie Mathay, and members of the Municipal and Barangay Councils inaugurated the first biomass gasification power plant today in Dinalungan, Aurora. Governor Angara-Castillo praised the project and said “this is the kind of project that Aurora needs to jump start sustainable development in Northern Aurora, which is not connected to the Luzon grid”. Mayor Tubigan said that “EMS 24 hours of service is the beginning of the Governor’s promise to provide reliable, green, affordable power to Northern Aurora”, which presently relies on NPC’s diesel generators for power.
The biomass gasification power plant is owned and operated by Eco Market Solutions led by Atty. Gao Pronove, with financing from LBP Leasing. It is the first biomass gasification power plant in the Philippines, a renewable energy source, that provides for rural electrification. Atty. Gao Pronove said that “this is RE for RE or renewable energy for rural electrification”
Photo 1 - Governor Bella Angara-Castillo and Mayor Tito Tubigan cut the ceremonial ribbon with Eco Market Solutions President Atty. Gao Pronove and APECO CEO Robbie Mathay looking on.
Biomass gasification is a renewable source of energy because it uses recurring agricultural and forest waste as fuel. Gasification is a process that does not burn or combust biomass but rather uses heat in an oxygen-starved environment to release combustible gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane. In the system used by Eco Market Systems (EMS), the gas produced is cooled and cleaned and fed into a rotary engine to create electrical power. APECO CEO Robbie Mathay said, “this system is widely used in India and has been instrumental in rural development around the world”.
Photo 2 - Governor Bella Angara-Castillo and Mayor Tubigan in front of the gasifier reactor together with members of the Dinalungan Municipal Council.
Photo 3 - The first biomass gasification plant for rural electrification producing 250kw of power for the municipality of Dinalungan, Aurora.
The EMS system currently uses dried wood branches, coconut fronds, and coconut shells. According to Atty. Pronove, “In May, EMS will start using biomass briquettes made from rice straw, rice and coconut husks, and corn cobs, and dried grasses, providing a big boost to farmers’ incomes in the neighboring barangays”. EMS buys processed and unprocessed biomass from nearby farmers and landowners from P0.50 centavos up to P2.50 per kilo depending on the biomass. The current power plant uses about 8 tons of biomass a day at full load.
Photo 4 - Eng. Allan Reyes of Magco discuss the merits of biomass briquettes with Governor Bella Angara-Castillo while EMS CEO Gao Pronove looks on. In this picture, they are looking at a 100% rice straw briquette.
EMS plans to build a similar but larger biomass gasification power plant in Casiguran to produce 1MW of power, and a smaller one in Dilasag to power both Dilasag and Dinapigue in Isabela. Asked why they are not just expanding in Dinalungan, Atty. Pronove said “We are going where the biomass is located, and this is what we promised Governor Bella Angara-Castillo and Senator Edgardo Angara when they invited us to visit the beautiful province of Aurora.” “We are excited to have built this plant despite the two typhoons that hit the area last year. This is proof that biomass power is an appropriate renewable imamn technology for the Philippines and offers great promise not only for energy development but for boosting agriculture in the country,” said Atty. Pronove.
“We see great applications all over the country. As fossil fuel like diesel increase in price, we see biomass gasification as the best alternative. We can cut the energy costs of existing diesel users by 50% with a payback of less than 1 year,” according to Engr. Allan Reyes of Magco. The Dinalungan power plant is a live demonstration of how biomass power can help bring down energy costs and provide power in remote areas.
There are more than 150 off-grid areas in the Philippines powered by increasingly expensive diesel. Some of these areas barely get 6 hours of electrical power a day. According to Atty. Pronove, Eco Market Solutions “is looking forward to bringing our technology and know-how to these areas and help spur rural development in the country.”
Eco Market Solutions is a renewable energy company that develops and provides green power. It provides compelling biomass solutions for companies that use fossil fuels for thermal or power applications, reducing consumption by up to 75%.
Eco Market Solutions
Telephone: 893-4344; 553-6537