MANILA, Philippines - The government has tapped French firm Enertime to look into the use of rice straw as feedstock for power generation with Enertime tasked to link investors to the project once this is proven viable.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has signed an agreement with Enertime in an aim to harness some 10,000 metric tons (MT) of rice straw yearly for power generation.
A startup renewable energy company affiliated with the Groupe Amundi, the private equity arm of Credit Agricole and Société Générale Bank, Enertime will facilitate financing of the feasibility study.
This is through funding from the French Economic Ministry's Fund for Studies and Private Sector Support Program.
"Enertime will assess the biomass supply, estimate power plant cost, and help find project investors," said Philrice in a statement. "PhilRice will provide rice production data and technical support in collecting and transporting rice straw, contracting rice straw supply, and validating sites feasible for biomass energy production."
The use of rice husks for biomass power generation, once operational, will contribute substantially to the greenhouse gas reduction.
Filipino farmers are known to have sustained the practice of burning rice husks despite current prohibitions since government has ratified the Clean Air Act.
An earlier estimate used by the National Convergence Initiative (NCI) placed employment generation from a Philippine biomass program at 78,000 for construction of the power plants, 4,000 for plant operation, and 7,000 from the feedstock supply chain.
However, this also includes other feedstock such coconut husks that are found as abundant waste in the country.
The NCI has a list of 25 agriculture-based companies that will bring about the 277 MW target additional capacity by 2015.
In Luzon, these are Isabela Rice Hull Gasication (Alicia), Biomass Power Plant using Coconut Wastes (Quezon), Bulacan Biogas Power Generation System, San Pedro Landll Methane Recovery and Electricity Generation, Bataan Rice Hull-red Cogen Plant, Nueva Ecija Rice Husk-Fired Biomass Power Plant Project (San Jose City),Nueva Ecija Multi-Fuel Biomass Power Generation Facility (San Leonardo), Waste to Energy (WTE) Conversion-Payatas Disposal Facility, Pangasinan Multi-Fuel BiomassPower Generation Facility, Isabela Rice Hull-Fired Gasication Power Facility (San Manuel), Mindoro Rice Hull-Fired Biomass Power Plant, Cavite Bagasse Cogeneration System, and Isabela Biomass/Biogas Power Generation Plant (San Mariano).
In Visayas, these are Aklan Multi-Fuel Biomass Power Plant Iloilo Multi-FuelBiomass Power Generation Facility (Mina), Iloilo Multi-Fuel Biomass Power Generation Project (Ajuy), San Carlos Multi-Fuel Biomass-Fired Power Generation Project, Consolacion Landll Methane Recovery and Electricity Generation, Silay Bagasse-Fired Power Generation Facility, Negros Multi-Fuel Biomass Power Generation Plant, Cebu Waste to Energy Project using Catalytic Hydrothermal Gasication, Victorias Bagasse-Fired Power Generation Facility, San Antonio Bagasse-Fired Power Generation Facility
The biomass projects in Mindanao are the Bukidnon Multi-Fuel Biomass Power Generation Facility, Bukidnon Bagasse-Fired Power Generation Facility (Crystal Sugar), Davao Waste to Energy Project using Catalytic Hydrothermal Gasication.