The former governor of the Philippines’ Negros Occidental province – known as the nation’s ‘sugar bowl’ – has urged sugar mills in the region to install cogeneration systems.

According to Philippine newspaper the Sun.Star Bacolod, Rafael Coscolluela, who is now the province’s consultant for investment promotions, trade and export development, said cogeneration systems would help the mills diversify their revenues in order to survive expected sugar price fluctuations.

‘It will take two to three years to complete the operation of cogeneration, which is healthy for sugar mills because it will allow them to survive in the future, especially when sugar prices drop,’ Coscolluela was quoted as saying.  

He added that cogeneration would improve boiler efficiency without having to change the quality of the bagasse fuel used.

Five sugar mills in Negros Occidental have already installed cogeneration systems, which Coscolluela said has improved their operational efficiency and ‘shown that cogeneration can be done’.

He added that there have been initial challenges for sugar mills, including sorting out payment for power generation, but that he expects these problems to be ironed out within a year.

Image: Central Azucarera de la Carlota by Hbalairos on Wikimedia Commons