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Benedictine nuns in Vigan pioneer biogas project

December 30, 2012 9:03am
Filipinos suffering from high prices of liquefied petroleum gas may want to take a cue from Benedictine nuns in Ilocos Sur, who use biogas for their cooking and power needs.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the nuns have a biogas project that provides their abbey with cooking gas and power.

“Using biogas for cooking and power generation in our abbey has greatly helped us save our budget so that we can use it in other financial needs of the abbey,” said Immaculate Heart of Mary Abbey (IHMA) abbess Mother Mary Cielo Cortez.

Cortez said the abbey had been using biogas for a long time, but it was only in 2009 that the technology was improved.

The IHMA is the mother congregation of the three other independent monasteries of Benedictine Nuns of the Eucharistic King (BNEK).

According to the CBCP, the nuns’ biogas project was runner-up for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom-Philippine Office’s Freedom Project Award.

It said the Freedom Project Award cites programs of civil society groups, national and local governments that let communities experience the benefits of freedom.

Biogas digester

The CBCP said the Department of Energy and the Mariano Marcos State University–Affiliated Renewable Energy Center (MMSU-AREC) helps the abbey run its 232-cubic meter biogas digester.

Aside from cooking and power, the digester supplies energy for the abbey’s piggery.

In turn, the piggery and a poultry farm supply raw materials for biogas production.

The DOE said the project addresses the problem of fluctuating prices of fuel for cooking, particularly LPG, as well as the denudation of forests for fuel wood, and the government’s call to utilize renewable energy resource. — LBG, GMA News
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