Photo/IllutrationItochu group company Dole Philippines Inc. plans to use residue from pineapple processing lines at its plant for biogas power generation. (Provided by Itochu Corp.)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Trading house Itochu Corp. will start a business that generates electricity from the unused parts of pineapples in the Philippines.

Itochu group company Dole Philippines Inc., which produces pineapples and bananas in the Southeast Asian country for export to North America and Japan, has tied up with a local venture company for the project.

While bananas are shipped as they are, around 700,000 tons of pineapples a year are shipped whole or processed into canned food and soft drinks.

The venture company will receive the pineapple remnants--cores, skins and crowns--and place them in a large tank for fermentation at a dedicated facility. The residue will create flammable biogas, which can be used to generate electricity.

The remnants had been used in fertilizer for pineapple and banana trees. Now, they will produce energy for use at the group company’s pineapple factory.

Dole Philippines has concluded a 16-year energy sales and purchase contract with the venture company, which will start operating the biogas generation facility in 2020.

With higher electricity fees raising the costs to produce canned pineapples and soft drinks, Dole Philippines aims to reduce electricity expenses and the burden on the environment by having renewable energy cover 20 percent of its electricity consumption.

“By transforming the remnants into fuel, it will be possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tons a year,” an Itochu official said.