RE to power upcoming SteelAsia plants

By Kris Crismundo

May 28, 2024, 1:01 pm

COMPOSTELA, Cebu – The country’s top steel manufacturer and one of the world’s biggest producers of reinforcement bar (rebars) SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp. is eyeing renewable resources to energize its upcoming facilities.

SteelAsia president and chief operating officer Andre Sy told the Philippine News Agency that the company is eyeing to source its power requirements for the new manufacturing plants from geothermal energy offered by GreenFire Energy, Inc., a California-based geothermal technology firm.

“We are supporting their efforts in trying to maximize the geothermal potential of the Philippines,” Sy said in an interview May 23.

“We target the new ones,” he answered when asked which SteelAsia plant could be an off-taker of GreenFire’s future project in the country.

SteelAsia recently announced a PHP65-billion manufacturing expansion by building four new plants -- two in Concepcion in Tarlac and one each in Candelaria, Quezon and in Davao.

“When (United States Commerce) Secretary Gina Raimondo came (to Manila), they were part of the delegation. They sought us out, they sought out SteelAsia as a potential off-taker whatever power they can create. I guess we are happy to support it,” Sy said.

During the bilateral meeting of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden last month, GreenFire said it will implement its letter of intent to supply geothermal power to SteelAsia from its projects in the Philippines.

“They’re approaching the companies that have rights to own the geothermal fields… Those that are not producing, they can try to activate it to make it productive,” Sy added.

The executive said tapping geothermal energy helps the country maximize its RE resources.

Sy added that sourcing the power requirement from geothermal energy fits well with the company, as geothermal power generation facilities can produce power 24/7 and can meet the high power demand from manufacturing operations.

“SteelAsia benefits from it because we also want to increase our sustainable footprint and geothermal really fits our consumption profile,” he said.

“I guess the ball is in their (GreenFire Energy) court to come back to us with a commercial offer,” Sy said.

Aside from geothermal energy, the executive said SteelAsia is looking into expanding its solar power capacity to supply its own power needs.

Last year, the Board of Investments issued Memorandum Circular 2023-006 which provides additional incentives for registered projects that will supply their own power needs by putting up their own RE capacities. (PNA)