Aug 112013

MANILA, Philippines – Caraga Renewable Power Corp. (CARE CORP), a subsidiary of Eastern Petroleum Corp. (EPC), is investing $70 million to put up a biomass power plant in Butuan City.

EPC chairman and CEO Fernando Martinez said the plant would have a capacity of 20 megawatt (MW) and would use wood chips as its feedstock.

Martinez said they would source the feedstock from their industrial tree plantations in Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur and other industrial tree plantations.

He said they hope to start the project next month.

“Plant site in Butuan City is on final validation which will be decided this September to pave the way for necessary permitting,” he said.

According to Martinez, the plantation that raises raises (falcata, acacia magnum trees) would be placed under a different corporation owned with a tribal council.

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“Our joint venture is with the Manobo Council Wawa Tribal Community in Agusan del Sur covering 10,000 hectares,” he said.

Early this year, Eastern Renewables Corp., also a unit of EPC, signed an agreement with the Manobo Wawa Sectoral Tribal Council in Agusan del Sur to develop a 10,000-hectare industrial tree plantation that will supply the feedstock for its planned 20-MW biomass power plant.

Eastern Petroleum chairman Fernando Martinez told reporters the agreement entitled the Manobo council a 20-percent share of the net revenues from the $60-million biomass plant.

Martinez said the company hopes to complete the biomass plant by 2015.

Martinez earlier said the plant would improve and assure the livelihood of the community and eliminate the slash-and-burn practice, popularly known as kaingin and charcoal making among the natives.

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