As Boracay continues to attract more tourists, the number of resorts and restaurants sprouting in every corner of this resort island increases to cater to the demand.
However, the added commercialization also becomes a threat to the prized beauty of Boracay.
The swelling population of establishments thus translates to more waste produced including cooking oil which is a primary commodity in every kitchen facility. If improperly disposed, large amounts of used cooking oil may pose a risk to the island’s primary tourism magnet: the beach.
The growing population of Boracay tourists also demands increased power supply.
Yet, resources are becoming scarce.
Businesses are therefore forced to resort to generator sets in order to maintain their services.
As the need to minimize the impact of development becomes a growing concern in Boracay, a local high-end resort is pioneering the use of green technology that promotes environmental preservation through effective waste management.
Ambassador in Paradise Resort is now using the Renergy System, a technology from Japan that allows generators to run on used cooking oil (UCO).
Renergy System is a fuel supply control device that enables the use of UCO as fuel for generators without chemical process.
“The system is waste-to-energy simplified,” said Jay Carandang, General Manager of Renergy System, Inc.
Carandang explained that a machine (KG-1000) worth P2 million is installed at the resort’s generator. The machine recycles used cooking oil and blends it with diesel fuel to produce electricity. He said the system could operate for up to ten 10 years.
Ambassador in Paradise, a five-star resort located at Station 1 of Boracay’s White Beach, is the only establishment in the country that uses the technology. The resort’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Joop Van der Tak, said the system was installed in their resort in March 2014. Since then, during power outages in the island, they continue to operate with generating sets using waste cooking oil.
Carandang said with the Renergy System, the Ambassador in Paradise Resort can run on backup power using about 70 percent waste cooking oil, instead of pure diesel; the backup power can run for an hour using 35 to 40 liters of used cooking oil mixed with about 5 to 10 liters of diesel.
In comparison, a diesel-only generator can consume 45 liters of fuel in an hour.
“The system will not only help mitigate the power problem in the island but can also help solve commercial waste problems here,” he added.
Carandang said they first tapped Boracay resorts since they qualify as users of the system.
“As a tourist island, resorts here require constant power, and most of the establishment here generates voluminous used cooking oil in their daily operation,” he said.
Carandang stated that a resort in Boracay can produce about 4,000 liters of used cooking oil monthly.
“Instead of disposing used waste cooking oil, they can now use it as fuel for their generators to produce electricity,” he explained.
Based on their latest fuel efficiency test conducted last April 9 and 10, the resort’s generator runs using six percent of diesel and 94 percent biofuel or used cooking oil.
Van der Tak said using the Renergy System is part of their commitment as an eco-friendly resort in Boracay.
Not new to renewable energy, Ambassador in Paradise Resort has been using other environment-friendly technologies in their operations: to ferry their guests, the resort uses two solar-powered cars and six electric cars; all of their 58-rooms are also installed with solar water heaters.
“We will try to bring more eco-energy to the Philippines,” Van der Tak said during Renergy System’s grand launch at the resort last April 23.
The Ambassador in Paradise CEO also lauded the technology saying it is can be a big help in mitigating the power woes of the island.
“It can bring a huge contribution to Boracay, and in other islands in the Philippines where there is no electricity,” he said.
Future of renewable energy
The Renergy System was invented by Japanese inventor Osamu Nishikawa.
Nishikawa, a computer software engineer, said it took him 10 years to perfect the system. He said he brought the system to the Philippines to help the country in solving its waste and energy problems.
Carandang said the system is now undergoing Environmental Technology Verification Program by the Department of Science and Technology.
The Renergy System will also be presented to the Department of Energy for them to be recognized as a renewable energy developer.
Carandang was happy to disclose that a nearby resort and one in Samal Island in Davao, have expressed interest in the system.*
This article was first published by Boracay Sun.