Canada supports $161 million biomass power projects in Negros Occidental

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  • The Government of Canada, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and IFC’s Clean Technology are investing $161 million in three biomass power plants in the Philippine province of Negros Occidental.

    The investment was announced on August 19. The project in the Visayas region of the Philippines is expected to generate 70 megawatts of clean renewable energy for the country.

    The power plants are being built in the towns of Manapla, San Carlos and La Carlota.

    “We are pleased to support innovative projects abroad that help reduce global greenhouse gases. Through our partnership with the IFC, the Government of Canada will deliver funds that will enable the growth of renewable energy while supporting the creation of green jobs,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

    The facilities will convert sugarcane waste to electricity using a low carbon-emitting process called circulating fluidized bed boiler technology. Before it was identified as feedstock for biomass power plants, sugarcane waste was burned in the fields, a practice that contributed to air pollution.

    The three power plants are expected to qualify for the biomass feed-in-tariff of the Philippine Energy Regulatory Commission. The feed-in-tariff is available to energy producers with up to 250 megawatts of biomass generating capacity.

    IFC Country Manager, Yuan Xu, said: “Energy is central to the country’s development, and the Philippines needs to further diversify and secure its energy sources. Converting agricultural waste to biomass power is a sustainable way of creating economic value while caring for the environment.”

    IFC is a member of the World Bank Group. It is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, it has six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most.

    The Clean Technology Fund as well as the Government of Canada’s contribution to the project through the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program have helped make this investment viable. To date, Canada has provided CA$271 million to the program, to enable climate change investments that are generating significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

    “We are happy to receive this support from IFC and the development partners,” said Jose Maria Zabaleta, CEO of Bronzeoak Philippines, one of the shareholders for the project. “This funding will help utilize agricultural waste to generate reliable base load power, providing additional income to farmers, reducing fertilizer costs, and helping contribute to a healthful ecology.”

    In addition to loans from Canada and the Clean Technology Fund, IFC is also mobilizing funding from the Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, a new syndications platform that offers institutional investors the ability to passively participate in IFC’s future senior loan portfolio.

    “ThomasLloyd is delighted that IFC has chosen to participate in these investments. With its use of local sugar cane waste, this project is an exciting development for all the stakeholders and especially for the local community,” said Tony Coveney, Executive Director of ThomasLloyd Group Ltd. ThomasLloyd CTI Asia Holdings is the principal financial sponsor. WBE (Hong Kong) International Green Energy Limited, another shareholder, will provide engineering and construction services.

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