June 19, 2018, 11:28 pm
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Asia’s 1st ocean power plant in the offing

Power generation firm H&WB said  its San Bernardino Strait project in Northern Samar inches closer to becoming the maiden venture for a commercial ocean power plant in the Philippines and the Asean region after the Renewable Energy Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE) held a successful public consultation.

The company said  the consultation was also done together with the San Bernardino Ocean Power Corp. (SBOPC), a consortium owned by French and local firms and as well as with the PNOC Renewable Energy Corp.

 H&WB said the project is envisioned to provide reliable and clean power supply to the island of Capul which is off-grid under the Small islands Power Utility Group of the National Power Corp. (NPC).

The Northern Samar Electric Cooperative will be the off-taker for an initial 1.5 megawatts (MW) power plant harnessing the marine current resource in San Bernardino Strait, which separates the islands of Luzon and Samar and will require a fund of up to $25 million.

Sabella Société par Actions Simplifiée (Sabella) of France is deploying a resilient marine turbine that will use tidal in-stream energy conversion (TISEC) technology which can be expandable to 3 MW with a 1 MW storage.

The company said  San Bernardino Strait’s tidal currents have a 500 MW potential and defended that compared to other renewable sources, tidal currents are predictable, and produce massive kinetic energy to run marine turbines.

 “TISEC could be the technology of choice in ocean renewable energy development in the Philippines,” said Antonio Ver, president of H&WB, the joint venture partner of Sabella in SBOPC, which earned three ocean power service contracts awarded by DOE.

 SBOPC is 60 percent owned by local firm H&WB and the remaining 40 percent by French company, Sabella SAS.

 Kit Ventura,  H&WB general manager for renewable energy projects,  earlier said the company intends to fund the project on a 30 percent equity and 70 percent debt. 

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) recently signified its interest to also put up a 1,200 MW ocean tidal power plant that will likely cost $3.6 billion.

SMC said that the plant will likely take five years to be completed claiming that its output is being considered to be sold at a lower price in order to help in lowering the price of electricity in the country.
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