Mackay Green Energy is looking into growing more bana grass in the Philippines and convert it into biomass fuel, media reports said on Thursday.
In a report by Malaya Business Insight, Mackay Green Energy is exporting bana grass to Japan and Korea from Zamboanga, where an initial 200 hectares has been planted on idle islands.
Bana grass can be made into coal and biodegradable plastics.
The green technology firm has planted bana grass in a 3,000-hectare land in Negros, 1,000 hectares in Leyte, and 130 hectares in Nueva Ecija, data from the Philippine News Agency said.
Mackay Energy said that they have secured the world’s best technologies to establish the conversion of the bana grass to green coal. It contains “superior qualities to fossil-based coal and be co-fired in existing coal power plants without making huge changes.”
“It is a key factor for power plants since the greenhouse gas emissions can be directly reduced,” James Mackay, chairman and CEO of Mackay Green Energy, told reporters.
Mackay added that there are plans for installing two 3-megawatt (MW) green coal power plants. This plant will run on bana and will produce 100 tonnes per day of green coal, it will also provide fuel to run the power plant.
It plans to establish an integrated production facility that will encompass green coal, power, green gas, fuels and chemical derived from the Mackay variety bana grass.
The company said that the first green coal production will start in the last quarter of 2016.
The Mackay variety bana grass crop, supplied by MGE through existing plantations was initially imported from Australia. These plantations are strategically located in the key areas of Butuan, Iloilo, Misamis Oriental, Nueva Ecija, Leyte, Rizal, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.