MANILA, Philippines – Eastern Petroleum Corp. plans to start the construction of its US$60-million 20-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in the third quarter of 2013, according to chief executive officer Fernando Martinez.
The plant, slated for commercial operations in 2015, marks the independent oil firm’s entry into the biomass sector.
Martinez said the plant, to rise in Agusan del Sur, would source its feedstock requirements from a 10,000-hectare industrial tree plantation located within the ancestral land domain of the Manobo Tribe.
The company, through its subsidiary Eastern Renewables Fuel and Commodities Trading Corp., entered into an agreement with the Manobo Tribal Council for the cultivation of the tree plantation.
Martinez hopes the project would improve the livelihood of the community and encourage them to end the slash and burn or kaingin practice.
Eastern Petroleum is also setting aside P2 billion for capital expenditures in 2013, a significant increase from the programmed P500 million in 2012.
The amount, to be raised through a mix of bank financing and internally generated funds, will be spent for 60 additional retail stations, on top of the company’s existing 40 stations.
Aside from retail stations, P800 million will be used to build a 4-hectare oil depot in Davao, Mindanao with a capacity of 35 million liters.
Eastern Petroleum expects to post a net income of P30 million to P40 million for 2012 and is looking to generate P150 million to P200 million in 2013.
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