15 June 2012

Environment Impact: Subic Power Plant Undergoes Review

The $1.28-billion 600-MW Redondo coal fired power project in Subic Freeport is facing another review as stakeholders and experts call for a 're-scrutiny' of the power plant, approved during the previous SBMA Board, largely on environmental impact issues.

The review of the Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc., which is 50 percent owned by Meralco PowerGen Corp.

Aboitiz unit Therma Power Inc. and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp., was called after the completion of the Social Acceptability Process (SAP) conducted by the SBMA in December last year.

The power plant’s construction was scheduled to start in 2009 and the initial commercial operation of the first phase 300 mw was supposed to commence this year and the second phase of 300MW to start three years after the commercial operation of the first phase.

“Based on their analyses of the subject matter, the specialists recommended that the SBMA re-scrutinize the coalfired power plant project,” the SBMA’s final SAP report released recently said.

Based on the report, a revisit of the project, which was already approved by the former SBMA Board under the then administration of President Gloria Arroyo, is meant to effectively determine the impact on environment and health; ensure comprehensive impacts zone study; properly determine actual and potential cost; and, to ensure the project is coherent and compatible with SBMA's mandate, vision, mission and development plans, including its protected area management plan. (Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, Manila Bulletin)