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Eastern Petroleum to enter power sector

UK-headquartered oil company Eastern Petroleum is looking to enter the renewable energy market with the acquisition of its first biomass plant.

The company is considering investing in a 40MW facility in Nueva Ecija, the Philippines, but will not progress with the plan until the Renewable Energy Board sets the feed-in tariff (FIT) rates, according to the company chairman and CEO Fernando Martinez.

'We are exploring renewable energy but we are still studying the entry point and reliability, especially the FIT,' Martinez explains. 'We are looking at biomass. Biomass has promise. The question is the feedstock. How fast can it grow?'

Eastern Petroleum is also considering investment in a coal-fired power plant located in Bataan. At this stage the capacity is still unknown but Martinez says it could generate anything between 200 and 300MW of power.

'Eastern Petroleum is thinking of crossing over to the power sector. We are now looking to be a total energy company. We're looking at putting up a merchant power plant and we're now looking for a partner,' the CEO explains, before going on to say that the decision comes as electricity prices in the country are continuing to rise.