SMC invests in clean energy, to replace coal with rice husks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 3) — San Miguel Corporation is making good on its promise to push for clean energy.

In a statement, the diversified conglomerate announced it is looking at using rice husks as fuel for its power plants, which would lead to more profit for rice farmers and less carbon emissions.

"Instead of burning or dumping rice husks, we want to fully utilize this agricultural waste product both as energy source for our power plants and income source for our rice farmers," SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang was quoted as saying in the statement.

"This way, we reduce our emission further, encourage more farmers to increase rice production, make their lives better and help address a perennial food security challenge," he said.

SMC has two circulating fluidized bed power plants in Limay, Bataan and Malita Davao, through its energy arm SMC Global Power. These coal power plants produce lower carbon emissions than the average coal power plant.

The shift to rice husks from coal may lower carbon emission further, producing less air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Ang said this could also improve the agricultural sector by empowering rice farmers.

"If we encourage more farmers to plant rice by providing them additional sources of income, our rice sufficiency and food security improves. At the same time, we use palay husks to generate more environment-friendly energy," Ang said.

SMC is also looking at going into rice importation once the rice tariffication bill is passed.