Thursday, November 29, 2012

‘Green’ firms granted perks

Business World Online
Posted on November 29, 2012 11:01:45 PM

RULES HAVE BEEN relaxed for 18 business entities whose "green" policies have qualified them for an Environment department seal of approval.

‘GREEN’ companies granted an Environmental department seal of approval quallfy for a number of incentives.
  The perks, which include reduced reportorial requirements, were awarded under the department’s Philippine Environment Partnership Program (PEPP).

Among those cited yesterday were units of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI), Nestle Philippines, Inc., Holcim Philippines, Inc. and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.

"The awardees were chosen because of their exemplary environmental performance and for going beyond mere compliance with existing environmental laws and regulations," Environment Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje said in a statement.

Phoebe C. Coronel of the PEPP’s technical staff said that among others, required self-monitoring reports can now be submitted annually instead of quarterly. Prerequisites for the grant of environmental permits can be waived and the application process shortened. Some permits can also be extended.

This year’s awardees, up from 15 in 2011, are:

• CCBPI’s Pangasinan plant; 

• CCBPI’s La Union plant; 

• CCBPI’s Ilocos plant;

• CCBPI’s Ilagan plant;

• TeaM Energy’s Sual plant; 

• TeaM Energy’s Pagbilao plant;

• Nestle Philippines’ Pulilan plant; 

• Nestle Philippines’s Cagayan Distribution Center; 

• Holcim Philippines’ Norzagaray plant; 

• Holcim Philippines’s Lugait plant; 

• Hedcor Sibulan, Inc. of AboitizPower Corp.;

• Energy Development Corp.’s (EDC) Kidapawan Geothermal Power Plant; 

• STEAG State Power, Inc.’s Misamis Oriental plant;

• Green Core Geothermal, Inc.’s Tongonan geothermal plant; 

• EDC-Leyte Geothermal, Inc.; 

• Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (PASAR).; 

• Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.’s Batangas gas refinery; and

• Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.’s Tacloban terminal.

Last year, CCBPI, Holcim, Nestle, Aboitiz Power, PASAR, and Green Core were also among the awardees. Since 2009, 57 businesses have been given the seal of approval, which is valid for one year.

Companies looking to qualify have to apply with the concerned Environmental Management Bureau regional office. Among others, they should have had no pollution case in the last three years, complied with all applicable laws and have a proven environmental track record.

"We also look at a company’s projects and initiatives ... their emissions, if applicable, and their waste treatment facilities", PEPP chief Connie B. Crisostomo yesterday said.    source

PetroEnergy unit signs deal with Aklan co-op

Business Mirror 

Published on Thursday, 29 November 2012 20:04

Written by Paul Anthony A. Isla / Reporter

LISTED PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (PERC) said on Thursday its wholly owned subsidiary PetroGreen Energy Corp. (PGEC) signed an agreement with the Aklan Electric Cooperative (Akelco).
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, PERC said the deal covers the construction of the transmission line for PGEC’s 50-megawatt (MW) Nabas wind power plant. The project is being developed under Service Contract 2009-09-002.
PERC said the agreement was signed by Francisco G. Delfin Jr., PGEC vice president, and Akelco General Manager Chito R. Peralta.
The said deal will result in a construction contract where PGEC engages Akelco to put up the single-circuit 69-kilovolt overhead interconnection line based on the engineering design and transmission line components furnished by PGEC.
The finalization of the deal followed the approval and release in August of the Nabas system impact study results conducted by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
The NGCP study stipulated the connection scheme for Nabas and PGEC’s filing for commerciality declaration of the project with the Department of Energy (DOE) on September 10, 2012.
Delfin said the interconnection distance between the Nabas wind farm and the NGCP-approved connection point near Unidos, Aklan, is less than 10 kilometers.
He added that the interconnection makes the Nabas project quite likely the one with the shortest transmission line requirement that should translate to faster project construction completion.
The project is said to be consistent with Akelco’s goals of seeing more generation facilities to be put up in Aklan to increase power supply in the province. It also enables Akelco to provide services to power companies.
“The Nabas project testament to the continuing economic growth of Aklan province and Panay Island as a whole, which for a long time suffered from underdevelopment,” he said.
Peralta said the development and operation of the Nabas wind-power facility is consistent with the local government resolution for new power plants in the province to harness renewable energy.
Peralta said they also expect that Nabas will further maximize the eco-tourism potential of the province with the wind farm being near Boracay Island.
Subject to the commerciality declaration and megawatt allocation for the project, PERC said PGEC plans to start the initial development works in Nabas by next year with a mid-2014 target for commercial operations.
“Along with the commercial start of the 20-MW Maibarara geothermal project in late 2013 and the expected increase in daily oil production from the Etarne oilfields in Gabon by 2015, these projects will ensure new and steady revenues for both PGEC and PERC,” the company said.   source

PetroGreen Unit Signs Transmission Deal

For 50-MW Wind Power Project
Manila Bulletin
November 29, 2012, 6:54pm
For it to join the ‘gold rush’ of cornering a share in renewable energy installations to be underpinned by feed-in-tariffs, PetroGreen Energy Corporation (PGEC) has inked a deal with Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO) for a transmission line that will eventually connect its 50-megawatt Nabas wind power project to the grid.
The initial pact took the form of heads of agreement (HOA) but is intended to be transformed later on into a construction contract “where PGEC engages AKELCO to erect the single-circuit 69kV overhead interconnection line based on engineering design and transmission line components” set by the project developer.
PGEC, which is a subsidiary of publicly-listed PetroEnergy Resources Corporation, noted that the signing of the deal with the electric cooperative followed the approval and release of the grid impact study (GIS) by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for the proposed wind power facility.
A transmission interconnection agreement is among the requirements set forth by the Department of Energy (DoE) so RE projects can be given endorsement for availment of the FIT incentives.
 “The interconnection distance between the Nabas wind farm in Barangay Pawa and the NGCP-approved connection point near Unidos, Aklan is less than 10 kilometers,” PGEC vice president Francisco G. Delfin Jr. has illustrated.
He emphasized that among the wind power projects awaiting declaration of commerciality by the DOE, their proposed Nabas facility is “likely the one with the shortest transmission line requirement” and this is seen beneficial in what is anticipated as faster project construction.
According to AKELCO general manager Chito R. Peralta, their involvement in the Nabas wind power project “is consistent with the (electric cooperative’s) goals of seeing more generation facilities to be put up in Aklan to increase power supply in the province and for AKELCO to provide services to these power companies.”
Once ‘commerciality declaration’ is obtained from the energy department, the project developer is intending to kick off construction next year with target commercial operation by mid-2014.
To note, the FIT Rules specifically prescribe that the projects to be given incentives have to be on-line until year 2015.
 PGEC vouches that its wind project will couple its 20-megawatt Maibarara geothermal project in Luzon as clean energy ventures that will add up to the increasing power supply needs of the country.   source

SunAsia, partner earmark P400M for 4 solar power projects

By Amy R. RemoPhilippine Daily Inquirer
SunAsia Energy Inc., in partnership with German solar firm Mp-tec GmbH and Co. KG, is spending about P400 million to put up solar power facilities in remote, off-grid areas in the country.
In a briefing on Tuesday night, SunAsia Energy chairman Noel Cariño said the company was embarking on four solar power projects that could generate up to a total of 22 megawatts for remote areas in Palawan, Aklan and Mindoro.
These projects will likely be financed partly by SunAsia’s foreign equity partners including Mp-tec and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, he said.
According to Cariño, the planned solar projects can be completed as early as next year. The electric cooperatives in the three target provinces are expected to be the buyers of the power to be generated by the proposed facilities.
SunAsia president Theresa Cruz-Capellan, meanwhile, noted that the company’s vision was to help provide adequate and affordable electricity supply in off-grid areas, which were being serviced by the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) of state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor).
The electricity in these areas is generated mostly by diesel-fed plants, thus making power more expensive and vulnerable to global oil price volatility and supply disruptions.
SunAsia Energy is an independent solar power producer that makes use of German technology in rooftop installation and megawatt-size solar power plant construction and operations.
In an interview with reporters, Mp-tec founder and CEO Michael Preißel, who was in Manila for the launching of SunAsia Energy, said the German firm would be bringing its solar expertise to the Philippines.
Preißel noted that solar power is the right solution for the Philippines given the rising electricity requirements of about 100 million Filipinos and the high irradiation index of the country, which makes it suitable for solar power generation.
“Believing in the power of the sun, SunAsia Energy deploys state-of-the-art technology solutions in homes, business and industries, located in urban centers and geographically dispersed off-grid communities,” the company said.   source

SunAsia Energy eyes four sites for solar power projects

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores  Posted on Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:01am
Renewable energy developer SunAsia Energy Inc. said it will build solar power projects with a combined capacity of 20 to 22 megawatts in four off-grid areas in the country.
SunAsia chairman Noel Carino told reporters the company aimed to build small-sized solar power projects ranging from 2.5 MW to 5 MW.
“We’re targeting Palawan [Puerto Princesa and El Nido], Aklan, Mindoro,”  Carino said, adding that SunAsia would likely team up with state-owned National Power Corp. and electric cooperatives for the solar projects.
He said SunAsia was prepared to invest P200 million to P400 million for a 30-percent equity in the project cost. It plans to borrow 70 percent of the cost.
“We have some [foreign] partners. We’re still working on them,” Carino said, adding a possible financier was Export-Import Bank of the USA.
He said the company expected its solar projects to be on stream starting next year because solar projects were easy to install.
“Solar is easy to install. It’s more on the financing requirements but the technology itself is easy to install,” he said.
SunAsia deploys solar starter kits for homes and designs and build grid-integrated commercial-scale rooftop solutions for businesses.
It also customizes large installation for grid-connected industrial rooftop and installs megawatt-size solar power plants in partnership with utility firms.
SunAsia president Tetchie Capellan said the company wanted to concentrate on off-grid areas.
“Our vision is to help the off-grid. Everybody wants to concentrate on the on-grid. We want to help,” Capellan said.    source

Aboitiz Power hikes cash dividend to 50% of profit

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores  Posted on Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:01am
The  board of listed Aboitiz Power Corp. approved an increase in the annual cash dividend to 50 percent of the consolidated net income from 33 percent effective next year.
“A revised dividend policy of the company [will now consist] of an annual cash dividend payment of 50 percent of its consolidated net income from the previous fiscal year based on the audited financial statements of the company. The new policy changes the previous cash dividend payment ratio of 33 percent of previous year’s net profits,” Aboitiz Power said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.
The new dividend policy will take effect in 2013 based on the declaration of the 2012 net income after tax.
The board also approved the declaration of special cash dividend in the amount of P0.22 per share to all stockholders of record as of the close of business hours on December 13, 2012 payable on January 11, 2013.
Aboitiz Power reported a consolidated net income of P18.4 billion for the nine-month period, up  13 percent from P16.2 billion year-on-year, due to higher income from its generation and distribution business.
Aboitiz Power’s core net income in the first nine months of the year amounted to P17.9 billion, up 15 percent year-on-year.
Aboitiz Power’s consolidated net income in the third quarter rose 10 percent to P6.2 billion from P5.6 billion a year ago. Core net income in the third  quarter increased to P6.4 billion, up 13 percent on year.
Aboitiz Power’s  generation business accounted for 89 percent of earnings contributions, recording an income share of P17.2 billion in the first nine months, up 12 percent year-on-year.
The company’s attributable power generation capacity reached 2,353 megawatts as of  end-September.   source

Power generation entry could hurt Meralco

Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor   Published on 29 November 2012 

While Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) can celebrate its credit rating upgrade to BB- from B+, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), which gave the upgrade, still believes that the company’s re-entry into power generation could weaken its financial standing.

S&P said that Meralco’s re-entry into power generation could weaken its financial risk profile, depending on the scale of its investment and funding profile.

The company is eyeing a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant project in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, which could increase the company’s debt-funded capital expenditure and expose the company to execution risks.

In a statement, S&P said that it raised its long-term corporate credit rating for the Philippines-based power utility, citing that the outlook for Meralco is stable.

At the same time, S&P raised the Southeast Asian regional scale rating on the company to axBB+ from axBB.

“We upgraded Meralco because we believe the company’s competitive position and cash flow stability have strengthened, supported by a sustained improvement in the regulatory landscape. We assess the company’s business risk profile as fair,” S&P said.

The credit-rating company added that in their view, Meralco’s business risk profile improved to “fair” from “weak.”

It added that Meralco’s dominant position in power distribution in the Philippines supports the company’s business risk profile.

”The improvement in business risk profile is attributable to two factors,” said S&P Credit Analyst Rajiv Vishwanathan.

”One is healthy volume growth in electricity sales and increasing number of customers across all segments, stemming from a buoyant domestic economy. The other is timely tariff adjustments and recovery of charges approved by the regulator, which reflect improving regulatory track record and reducing industry risk,” the analyst said.

”We forecast Meralco’s EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] growth to remain strong in 2012 due to increasing customers and low distribution system losses. We also expect steady electricity sales in 2012 and 2013,” Vishwanathan added.   source

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Solar power producer aims for 20 megawatts in off-grid areas

Business Mirror

Published on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 20:15

Written by Paul Anthony A. Isla / Reporter

RENEWABLE-energy developer SunAsia Energy Inc., a solar-power producer, is looking to put up solar-power farms that can generate a total of 20 megawatts (MW) in four off-grid areas in the country by next year, Noel Carino, the company chairman, told reporters.
Carino said in an interview that they targeting to put up solar-power farms in Palawan, Aklan, Oriental Mindoro and Puerto Princesa.
For the four off-grid areas, Carino said, the installed capacity of each solar-power farm would vary from 2.5 MW to as much as 5 MW.
“These should be up by next year, the technology or solar panels are easy to install. The real challenge is on the financing requirements,” he said.
Carino said the initial 20-MW solar-power projects would mean an investment between P200 million and P400 million, with funding coming also from foreign partners and project financing from the possibly the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Apart from the four off-grid areas, Carino said, they will also put up solar-power facilities in their own projects and projects of other development, as well as for big consumer groups that are off-grid.
Tetchi Cruz-Capellan, SunAsia president, said they have entered into bilateral contracts with the electric cooperatives and also with the other power providers that are currently operating in those four off-grid areas.
“The vision is really to help off-grid areas. They need the help. While everybody wants to focus on providing electricity in the main grids, we want to help the off-grid areas,” she said.
Carino said, “The good thing about our vision is that it fits the archipelagic nature of the Philippines. We have a lot of islands and some of them, if not most, are considered off-grid areas.”
SunAsia Energy is a renewable-energy developer and independent power producer. It brings the global expertise of its international partners in the field of rooftop installation and megawatt-size solar-power plant construction and operations.
The company offers and installs grid-tied solar starter kits for homes that can generate from 500 watts to 2.5 kilowatt; design and build grid-integrated commercial-scale solar rooftop solutions for businesses up to 100 kW; customize large installation, grid-connected solar rooftop systems, for industries above 100 kW; and deploy megawatt-size solar-power plants in partnership with distribution utility companies.
SunAsia Energy also promotes the use of solar technology to increase power-generating capacity and to provide energy access for all. SunAsia Energy has partnered with mp-tec of Berlin, Canadian Solar, SolarBridge, and Solarus Partners, Enzolutions Inc., among others.    source

Coal for power

Written by Mike Wootton  Published on 28 November 2012

Well, they are having another go at it, it started on Monday (November 26) in Doha where representatives from 190 countries are meeting in an attempt to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the agreement focused on climate change made in 1997 under the auspices of the United Nations.
The protocol was designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions of developed countries to 5 percent less than 1990 levels by the end of 2012 and to spur investment in low-carbon development in developing economies.

But the gathering nations are nowhere near these desired outcomes.

The developed nations who have the main task of reduction of emissions cannot seem to get their acts together, even though they can trade carbon emission certificates obtained by less developed countries which make reductions in their own emissions. In other words emissions saved in the Philippines can be used to offset emissions produced in say Germany, and German buyers will pay for the value of the emissions saved in the Philippines.

There are very strong lobbies for both coal and oil, and the two biggest sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are vehicles and power generation. Vehicles mostly run on refined oil products, such as gasoline or diesel, and power is increasingly produced by the use of coal, particularly here in the Philippines, where coal has recently been the greatly favored fuel for power. Of the world’s total primary energy supply, coal accounts for 28 percent and oil 35 percent.

Compared to oil, coal is relatively cheap—the World Coal Association states as follows, “Coal prices have historically been lower and more stable than oil and gas prices. Coal is likely to remain the most affordable fuel for power generation in many developing and industrialized countries for decades.”

But it’s cost like that of oil is volatile as are the costs of transportation and as more is demanded, so its price as well the costs of its transportation will rise further. Burning coal is a dirty business, albeit very expensive sophisticated technology is now available to reduce some of the emissions, there is little which will reduce the CO2 emissions, the main contributors to atmospheric upset. When people fully understand the economics of coal quality, transportation, storage and importation, and the issues in particulate and sulfur removal as well as the social cost of the substantial harmful and damaging CO2 emissions, then they may pay more attention to other sources of fuel.

Environmental and social consciousness and coal just do not go well together.

The planned utilization of low-quality coal-fired power in Palawan is currently causing a lot of fuss. Palawan being the environmental jewel of the Philippines does not appear to want coal fired power and indeed it does seem to be a major contradiction. Hydroelectric power resources exist in Palawan at cheaper cost, not only to government but also to individual consumers than the planned coal fired power, but the local cooperative doesn’t want to use this, despite there being a law which says that they must. Strange isn’t it?

There is clearly more to using coal for power than is contained in the statement by the World Coal Association above. There are far bigger resources of coal worldwide than there are of oil for example, mining coal is an important economic sector, it creates jobs, it provides export earnings and 91 percent of its use is in electric power generation. It can only be expected that there would be strong government supported lobbies to sell it and to utilize it. There is really not a lot else you can do with it on a grand scale other than make electricity.

So it has to be concluded that the strength of the coal lobbies will not significantly dissipate in the near future, that those economies which have a heavy reliance on coal utilization such as the USA, China and Australia may less than wholeheartedly support extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the associated carbon emission reduction targets. They depend too much on coal. But this is the “big picture” and it need not, in fact specifically should not be confused with attempts to introduce small, dirty coal-fired power into environmentally protected areas containing UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Heritage Sites such as Palawan, when other cheaper and more environmentally compatible types of energy are known to be readily available. The Kyoto Protocol, also a United Nations agreement, was created to “ . . . spur investment in low-carbon development in developing economies . . .”

Mike can be contacted at mike   source

Benguet cites Aboitiz Power as biggest tax payer

Sunstar Baguio
By Ma. Elena Catajan
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet –- SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet Inc. (SNAP-Benguet) was honored for being the highest taxpayer of the province.
During the celebration of the province’s 112th Founding Anniversary, partners received honors for contributions to the continuing development of the province.
Governor Nestor Fongwan awarded the hydro company for their contributions.
Receiving the citation was Vice President for Corporate Services Mike Hosillos and Assistant Vice President and Plant Manager Renato Rarang.
In 2011, Barangay Ambuklao and the municipality of Bokod received about P61.2 million in real property taxes for the rehabilitated electro-mechanical equipment of the Ambullao plant.   source

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Energy department eyes one-stop shop for power investments

Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor   Published on 27 November 2012

In its plan to unify energy projects in the Philippines, the Department of Energy is going to create a one-stop shop or inter-agency for power investments in the country, which is still quite afar from the process of formalization.

“Actually, yung one-stop shop, yung ginagawa namin it’s more on networking among agencies na dinadaanan lahat ng energy projects [Actually, regarding the one-stop shop, what we are doing is more on like a networking among agencies where all energy projects will be processed and looked at],” said Lisa Go, DOE head for investment promotions.

“So initially, kaya nga naglabas kami ng guidebook for investors, inuupuan namin yan together with representatives of all agencies involved sa process approval ng energy projects [Initially, the reason why we already gave investors guidebook is because we are in the process of talking with involved agencies’ representatives for the approval of their energy projects],” she said.

Go added that the next step is the formalization of this group.

“So yung next step namin siguro i-formalize yung grupo na ito para mafacilitate yung kunwari may permit problem yung isang company with one agency, pwedeng tawagan lang or e-mail [The next step maybe is to formalize this so that if ever a company would have a problem in its permit, they could just call or e-mail this one agency],” she noted.