ILOILO CITY, Philippines, 17th April 2018—Cementing its commitment to enhance energy efficiency through technical training, particularly on clean coal technology, Global Business Power (GBP) inaugurated today a two-storey, 1,863-square-meter training facility at its Panay plant complex in Iloilo City.
Dubbed as the GBP Institute for Energy (GIE), the training facility highlights the Circulating Fluidized Bed boiler simulator to aid optimized operations of its power plant facilities. GIE also features training rooms, laboratories, an audio-visual room, and an e-learning classroom for the conduct of GBP’s various technical and leadership development programs. The facility will serve as the learning and development hub for all GBP employees across its eleven power generation facilities in Panay, Mindoro, and Cebu.
Build, Build, Build
“The GIE is our strategic initiative to help move the country forward through the creation of a robust pool of highly skilled, highly dedicated professionals who can meet and even exceed the demands of the dynamic energy industry,” said Jose Maria K. Lim, GBP’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. He added that through the GIE, the company envisions to help build leaders who can enrich and expand knowledge in the sector.
Lim highlighted that a dynamic energy sector is crucial for economic growth. The government’s thrust to usher in a golden era of infrastructure through the “Build, Build, Build” program will require close cooperation from the private sector, and the GIE is a testament to GBP’s commitment to be a partner in nation-building.
Clean coal technology
GBP President Jaime T. Azurin, meanwhile, said that the GIE is yet another proof of the company’s strong culture of learning. Azurin said that since 2010, the company has produced 89 graduates through its cadetship program. The company added that its initiatives are not limited to its employees but also extend to its stakeholders. GBP conducts sessions such as system loss management and conferences like the Energy Regulatory Commission’s Continuing Regulatory Education for Stakeholders for the benefit of its customers, and Power 101 for Cebu and Panay media.
Azurin also added that the GIE helps promote operational efficiency through better understanding of the clean coal technology. The GIE features a simulator room for the Circulating Fluidized Bed, or CFB, technology. Recognizing the complexities of operating a multi-billion peso power plant, the CFB technology simulator enables GBP employees to conduct hands-on study of real-life operational situations, including emergencies that require critical decision making, to harness preparedness during operational and maintenance contingencies.
The CFB technology is currently being used by GBP in three of its largest plants in Iloilo and Cebu, with the 246-MW Cebu Energy Development Corporation plant in Toledo City being the country’s first commercial CFB power plant. Unlike conventional steam generators that burn fuel in a high-temperature flame, CFB uses fluidization to mix fuel particles with limestone while burning in a low-temperature combustion process. The combustion process produces fly-ash as a by-product, which is recycled into road-base material, fertilizer, and bricks.
Reflecting the company’s thrust for both efficiency and sustainability, the GIE has been installed with 240 solar panels that can produce up to 66 kW of electricity. “This solar energy will augment the building’s energy requirements, and highlight how the GIE helps produce the power it consumes,” he said.
As GBP gears up for expansion, Azurin stressed that it will need a highly skilled workforce to attain its vision and goals. “With GIE, we hope to build knowledge and capacity that will secure not just our company’s future, but also our employees’ and the energy sector as a whole,” he said.
GBP, with a total installed capacity of 854 MW, is one of the leading independent power producers in the Visayas, with facilities located in Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan, and Mindoro. In 2017, GBP acquired a 50-percent stake in Mindanao-based Alsons Thermal Energy Corporation.