By: Maricyn A. De los Santos
Photos by: Ricky D. Alejo
PHINMA Energy, formerly known as Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation reiterated its commitment to help in the development of the island-province of Guimaras through its billion-peso investments in two power plants.
PHINMA Energy built the 3.4 megawatt Guimaras Power Plant in Jordan in 2004, and started operating in 2005. It is an embedded generation plant that provides back-up power to Guimaras Electric Cooperative (Guimelco) during peak hours – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The power plant assures Guimelco of reliable power supply and voltage quality requirements.
In 2015, Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corporation (TAREC) started the operations of its first wind farm in the Visayas, the 54MW San Lorenzo Wind Farm in San Lorenzo town. There are 27 wind turbine generators (WTG) which produce 2 MW of power each. The generated electricity is transmitted directly to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines Grid.
Lawyer Alan Ascalon, PHINMA Energy vice-president for legal and corporate affairs, said the power firm constructed 15 kilometers road and worked with about 800 people to put up the wind turbines.
Ascalon underscored that aside from being generator of electricity, the wind farm has also been a tourism landmark of the province that propelled the tourist arrivals in San Lorenzo town.
Karen Seno, corporate affairs manager, disclosed that through the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, PHINMA Energy has partnerships with 12 schools in Guimaras – 7 in San Lorenzo, 3 in Sibunag, and 2 in Jordan.
The partnerships include PHINMA’s provision of HELP Earth Multimedia Corners, student and teacher trainings, organization of HELP Earth Savers Club and support in the schools Brigada Eskwela or pre-classes opening cleanup program.
“We also have 27 hectare Arboretum in Brgy Tanglad in Sibunag where we planted 1,200 seedlings in 2016. This year, we target to plant 6,000 indigenous species of mangroves,” she said.
To support the town’s tourism sector, PHINMA established livelihood in five barangays including beads and accessories making in Cabano, bamboo crafts in Cabungahan, herbal and artisan soaps in Suclaran, among others.
In terms of infrastructure, PHINMA provided support in the construction of the San Lorenzo Pasalubong Center. These projects are in partnership with the barangays, town and provincial government, Guimaras State University, among others.
Meanwhile, lawyer Elijoh Herrera-Bellones, TAREC legal counsel, disclosed that in the area of economic support, the firm pays P50 million in real property taxes annually for its San Lorenzo wind farm.
Aside from the RPT, she said one percent of the charge per kilowatt hour is deposited to the Trust Fund of the Department of Energy, which can be withdrawn by the host community alone to use for its projects.
“We have offered the LGU our help in the making of project proposal for them to utilize the funds,” Bellones said.
According to Ascalon, TAREC’s total investments in Guimaras has reached P6 billion.