Victorias Milling expects to complete cogeneration biomass power plant by September

Philippines-based Victorias Milling Co. is expected to complete a cogeneration biomass power plant with 40MW capacity by the end of the year, according to media reports.

According to online reports by Business World Online.com, VMC president and chief operating officer Eduardo V. Concepcion said the plant, which will run mainly on bagasse - a by-product of sugarcane, is on track to start operations in September. 

Construction of the plant started last year. “We will be able to export to the grid about 25MW, while the remaining 15MW will be for own use. We are also applying this under FIT (feed-in tariff),” he said during a briefing on Monday. 

Should the project qualify under the FIT scheme, the power plant will get priority dispatch in the spot market with a fixed price of power at P6.63 per kilowatt hour for at least 20 years. 

VMC also unveiled plans to begin the second phase of its biomass power plant with equal capacity, but reducing the power that will be exported to the grid to only 20MW.

“Part of the power from phase two will electrify the turbines to convert them to use electric power. So steam from the sugar mill will be concentrated on the power plant to maximize power that we will use to run the mill,” Concepcion added, according to Business Word Online.com.

The official noted that other sugar millers planning to build their own biomass power plants in the region are talking to VMC for a supply agreement for bagasse. However, he said this may not be a viable.

“The set-up could be somehow difficult since gathering sugar cane trash in the field is challenging. It will be difficult during the rainy season especially in bringing in needed equipment,” Concepcion said, mentioning that the Zabaleta group is one of those interested in putting up such a biomass plant in the region.

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