23 Davao wood processors to set up bio-mass fuel plant
DAVAO CITY, Jan. 8 (PNA) -– About 23 wood processors based in Panabo City, Davao del Norte are planning to set up a “bio-mass fuel project” that will turn saw dust, wood cuttings and other wood wastes into fuel for various consumer and industrial uses.
In a recent industry cluster report to consultants of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), cluster coordinator Leonil Floresta said the wood cluster will soon get assistance from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for a P10-million joint project that will make use of tons of wood wastes like saw dust, cuttings, etc. and turn them into bio-mass fuel in the form of charcoal pellets.
”There’s just too much wastes in the wood industry, so we plan to turn all these wastes into additional income for all wood processors in Davao participating in this joint project with DOST,” Foresta said.
The DOST, according to Floresta, will provide and install the bio-mass fuel plant equipment for the wood processors sometime in the third quarter this year.
Wood processors are turning to alternative sources of income like this DOST-led project because of the “cheap buying prices of pallets”– their main source of income–paid by many banana firms to “illegal suppliers” or wood processors who do not have permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to wood cluster chair Loiue Rabat.
“These banana companies are killing us in the wood industry who have the permits and operate legally by turning to illegal pallet suppliers who sell very cheap pallets,” Rabat told JICA consultants during a recent monitoring meeting.
The current monthly demand of 200,000 pallets by the banana industry is being supplied by wood processors in Davao who turned to the mass production of pallets to meet this lucrative demand from exporters.
Wood processors, according to Rabat, blamed the “long, long delay” by DENR Manila office to process and approve permits, a process that could take several months to more than a year, making most of them “illegal suppliers” since they do not have permits to operate. (PNA)
LAP/ASA/AURELIO A. PENA/LDP