German firms in Manila to seek bioenergy deals
MANILA, Philippines - Eight German companies engaged in renewable energy industry are in the Manila to seek partnerships with local companies for the establishment of bioenergy production facilities.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, January 23, representatives from the European Chamber of Commerce, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) said the Philippines has an abundance of agricultural residues that can be used for bioenergy production.
These agricultural residues come from sugarcane, rice hulls and coconut husks that remain unutilized.
Currently on business trip in the country are representatives of Vastani GmbH, Eckrohrkessel GmbH, Envitech Biogas AG, GTP Solutions GMbH, Binder GmbH, Ascentec GmbH, Novis GmbH and Pregobello GmBH. They are accompanied by technology experts and representatives from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and GIZ, a technical advisory body for trade, climate change and sustainability issues, and fund management.
German-Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Gunther Matschuck said the alternative energy that can be produced by these companies in partnership with Philippine companies would be for domestic consumption.
"They would like to build plants. Some of them are are also ready to go into partnerships and operation," he said, adding that part of the visit is to check the available feedstock to determine the technology applicable to production of bioenergy. The delegation will also visit selected biomass and biogas projects in Southern Luzon to explore on site challenges and opportunities.
Matschuck noted that these projects can substantially boost employment in the countryside because manpower will be needed from construction to operation of the plants.
GIZ consultant for bioenergy Werner Siemers said that rising prices of fossil fuel coupled with the increased demand for energy have brought about a stronger need for the Philippines to explore alternative energy sources.
"Fortunately for the Philippines, it already has many things in place to make possible the shift to renewable energy, particularly biomass and biogas," he said.
Biomass and biogas is produced after a process of fermentation of biomass like manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material and crops.
The Department of Energy is currently implementing the feed-in-tariff, a scheme that provides incentives to local and foreign investors who intend to pour in resources to the development of renewable energy in the country.
"The feed-in-tariff can spark renewable energy by making investments instantly bankable," said Matschuck. - Rappler.com