BOI gives green light to Php531-M waste heat recovery power generating plant in Cebu

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The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) has recently approved the application for registration of Sinoma Energy Conservation (Cebu) Waste Heat Recovery Co. Inc. as a new operator of a 4.5 megawatt (MW) power generating plant in Naga City, Cebu Province.  Its parent company, duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of China, is engaged in investing in waste heat power generation projects and related engineering technology development, consultancy and design. 

A domestic market enterprise, Sinoma complied with the qualification requirements under “Energy” of the 2020 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) as the transitional Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) of the recently-enacted Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE). 

Infographic from Board of Investments Philippines

Despite the delayed construction caused by the pandemic, the WHR plant costing around Php531.2 million is projected to commence its commercial operations during the first quarter of 2022.  There will be about 17 employees, mostly from the city of Naga and nearby areas.  

Under a Power Supply Agreement (PSA), the WHR Power Generating Plant will provide significant support to a specific cement company in Cebu by capturing and using the waste heat of the cement plant to generate steady and cost-effective supply of electricity at about 23,130,000 KWH per year.  The project will thus, result in an indirect impact of increasing the power supply available for use by other consumers. Without the project, the heat content of the gases generated by the cement plant will simply go to waste.   

According to the Philippines’ Technology Needs Assessment for Climate Change Mitigation report dated June 2018, the cement industry has already installed three (3) waste heat recovery power generation systems with a total capacity of 17.5 MW in the following: 1) Cemex Antipolo Plant (6 MW); 2) Lafarge Teresa Plant (4.5 MW); and Eagle Cement Corporation (7 MW). The same report indicates that WHR system lowers plant specific energy consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and air pollutants emissions. It was estimated that carbon dioxide emission reduction is 11,800 tons/year for Lafarge Teresa Plant that has a similar capacity with the Project at 4.5 MW. 

In 2020, coal relentlessly dominated the installed capacity mix in the Philippines with a share of 42 percent followed by Renewable Energy (RE) at 29 percent, Oil-Based at 16 percent, and Natural Gas sits at 13 percent.   Globally, climate change has been a hot topic for several years, and in a bid to phase down coal eventually, the Glasgow Climate Pact was struck recently at the COP26 to reduce coal use and to ultimately cut carbon emission.   In a press conference, Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo shared that the country would shift to greener and sustainable initiatives.  

Energy demand will rise again as the economy recovers from the pandemic.  Building up of capacity and employment of energy-efficient technologies are necessary in order to ensure a stable/ unhampered and hopefully, cleaner supply of electricity.

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