One of the biggest producers of raw and refined sugar in the Philippines will finish this year the construction of its biomass plant in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, expected to generate 64-megawatts of electricity ready to be exported to the grid and used for its milling operations.
The Victorias Milling Co. Biomass Cogeneration Project will be finished this year and hopes to be commissioned to produce power for the plant and to export power next year, VMC Chief Operating Officer Minnie Chua said Saturday.
The plant is constructed within the VMC's headquarters and expected to run mainly on bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane after being processed to extract sugar.
In an interview with the DAILY STAR on Saturday, Chua said they expect the operation of this renewable energy plant to start in October or November this year.
Chua said around 25 MW of the total generated power will be exported to the power grid but, as congestions in the grid are experienced, they will wait for its upgrade by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
With the new source of power for the company, she said sugar milling could be operational the whole year round.However, they also need to ensure that the equipment for thesugar refinery will be reliable and functional.
“Whole year operations are possible with this cogeneration project but we also need to do repairs on our milling equipment to ensure that no breakdowns will happen,” Chua said.
Meanwhile, they also opened their milling operations together with the other two sugar centrals in the province on Sept. 20.
Chua said they are also receiving long lines for milling transactions but they assured that their mills are running well at their maximum capacity and can produce 15,000 to 16,000 tons of sugar per day.
They are also keeping up with the prices of production, given the current situation of the sugar industry this year, she said.
“We are doing everything and our best to support our sugar planters who are also our partners despite the current situation,” Chua added.
As VMC will celebrate its centennial year on 2019, Chua also said activities to kick off the celebration are now also being made, and it will be launched next year, she said.
It will be a milestone for the company and a lot of activities will be set up as we look forward to this 100 th year celebration, she said.
The company recently concluded the 5 th VMC Art Contest on Saturday, at the SM Bacolod Atrium, and awarded the best student artists around Negros Island. * MLG
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