MMDA Chair supports bid for power plant in Subic Freeport | SubicNewsLink

10 October 2008

MMDA Chair supports bid for power plant in Subic Freeport

The plan by Aboitiz Power Corp. (APC) to build a 300-megawatt (MW) clean coal technology-fired power plant at the Redondo Peninsula here has received support the other day from Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando.

Speaking at the sidelines of a conference by the Liga ng mga Barangay at the El Centro Convention Center here, Fernando said the power project would boost Subic’s thrust to attract more businesses.

“The construction of a coal-fired power plant here is a welcome development that would mean that business is booming in the Subic Bay Freeport, regardless of what other people say,” Fernando said.

“If it was proposed to be built in Marikina, we would have welcomed it with open arms,” he added.

Fernando also dismissed fears that the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Subic would lead to the destruction of the ecosystem, and lauded Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) officials for keeping their cool amidst criticisms that development has been encroaching into the well-preserved environment of the free port.

“With proper handling and management, the coal plant would be beneficial to the Subic Bay Freeport,” Fernando said.

According to the APC, which has recently teamed up with the Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. to form the Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. — the corporate vehicle for the proposed power facility, the project is needed to avert a possible power shortage between 2010 and 2012.

The plant, estimated to cost $450 million, is designed to burn bituminous and/or subbituminous coal and will be equipped with two 150-MW steam turbines and equipment using clean-coal technology, said APC vice president Wilfredo Bacareza.

Bacareza earlier said the APC expects to secure an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) this month. Eventually, another 300-MW plant will be added to double the facility’s power-generating capacity, he added.

In the same occasion, Fernando also complimented SBMA chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA administrator Armand Arreza for instituting mitigating measures for the environment, such as the policy of replacing trees affected by development projects.

“We also have that kind of program in Manila where we plant 10 seedlings in place of a tree that needs to be cut down,” Fernando explained.

Fernando also bared his program for developing the Marikina River into a recreational site by December of 2009.

He said that the river project would have five water treatment plants, making the river water clean for everybody to swim in. This, Fernando said, is considered a luxury that few residents in Manila now experience.

He added that making residents aware of what they do to the river would also have a positive impact on the lives of the people in Marikina and Metro Manila. (SBMA Corporate Communications)