GE turns Del Monte’s wastes into green energy

posted November 19, 2016 at 07:40 pm
by  Alena Mae S. Flores
Cagayan de Oro City—Fruit producer Del Monte Philippines Inc. is now able to save 25 percent of its annual power costs, thanks to a waste-to-energy project developed by GE.

Del Monte’s 2.8-megawatt waste-to-energy project is powered by GE’s Jenbacher gas engines and located at its cannery operations.

Wastewater from the pineapple cannery operations of Del Monte’s 23,000-hectare pineapple plantation in nearby Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon contains organic material. 

The wastewater is gathered and treated in an anaerobic wastewater treatment plant, which turns the biowaste into biogas to fuel two of GE’s Jenbacher J420 gas engines installed at the cannery’s on-site power plant.

Del Monte’s pineapple plantation
“As our demands for reliable and secure electricity continue to grow, we considered ways to generate on-site power that would fit into the region’s strategy to reduce the carbon footprint in the Philippines while also supporting our growing investment and employment in the country,” says Francisco Molas, Del Monte Philippines’ head for Mindanao operations. 

“The anaerobic treatment is an excellent alternative to existing aerobic systems. We can turn our biowaste into biogas to produce on-site power and heat for the cannery,” he says.

The combined heat and power plant generates close to 2.8 MW while the company’s demand is about 8 MW. It powers the operations of the Del Monte cannery and the plant, and it uses the excess heat to power the boiler.

These energy solutions enable Del Monte to realize substantial savings of 25 percent in current annual electricity needs and 9 percent of its annual energy requirement for fuel, thereby lowering production costs and overall waste and carbon emissions. Del Monte spends about P20 million for its electricity bills monthly.

The company sources power from electric cooperatives at P6.50 per kilowatt-hour, higher than P4.23 per kWh from the waste-to-energy facility.

The company also successfully reduced its reliance on the national grid, thus freeing up power for local communities and contributing more to the development of the local economy. 

Inside Del Monte’s cannery plant 
The waste-to-energy project also supports the government’s initiatives under the Renewable Energy Act and Clean Air Act.

“As the needs for reliable and secure on-site power and electricity are rising, and the world continues to experience the impacts of climate change, the ability to meet multiple needs through one solution is increasingly important. By generating electricity and heat simultaneously through GE’s Jenbacher gas engine technology, this CHP project could achieve overall efficiency of more than 82 percent with no additional fuel consumption,” says Daniel Icasiano, general manager for Asia Pacific sales and commercial operations of GE’s Distributed Power. 

“The CHP technology of our Jenbacher gas engines produces power used as electricity for the plant and, at the same time, recovers heat from exhaust for use in heating the boiler,” he says.

Desco Inc.—GE’s authorized distributor and service provider for Jenbacher gas engines in the Philippines—is providing a full power plant engineering solution including the installation of the two Jenbacher J420 gas engines, balance of plant, engineering support and the overall maintenance of the units. 

Del Monte manages the world’s largest fully integrated pineapple operations with a 23,000 hectare pineapple plantation in Bukidnon and cannery in Cagayan de Oro which processes 600,000 to 700,000 metric tons of pineapple a year.

Del Monte targets to increase the cannery’s annual capacity to 800,000 to 850,000 metric tons.

 GE’s Jenbacher J420 gas engines installed at the cannery’s on-site power plant
“We want to double our business in the next five years,” Del Monte Philippines manufacturing director Alan Zalcedo says, adding that the company hopes to reach $1 billion in revenues from $350 million at present.

Del Monte is looking at adding two gas unit engines for the waste-to-energy project to support its planned expansion program. 

“Apart from delivery and installation of the Jenbacher engines, GE’s multiyear agreement with Del Monte also includes technical consultation, equipment such as an activated carbon filter and exhaust gas heat exchanger, startup and commissioning of the engines as well as training,” says Joycelyn Yeo, regional sales leader of GE’s Distributed Power.

The CHP plant at Del Monte Philippines has been continuously providing power and heat to the cannery since its startup in 2015, with an average of 6,000 operating hours a year.

GE’s Distributed Power is a leading provider of engines, power equipment and services focused on power generation and gas compression at or near the point of use. 

Distributed Power offers a diverse product portfolio that includes highly efficient, fuel-flexible, industrial gas engines generating 200 kW to 10 MW each of power for numerous industries globally.

Topics: GE , Jenbacher gas engines , Cagayan de Oro City , Del Monte Philippines Inc. , green energy , waste-to-energy project
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