Korean Investors to Build US$70-M Pro-Environment Energy Plant Near Mt. Isarog

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 23 (PNA) -- The Naga City government has converted a five-hectare public land near the foot of Mt. Isarog into an industrial site where a Korean firm will establish the “first of its kind in the Philippines” waste-to-energy plant costing US$ 70 million.

Technically dubbed “Waste to Synthesis Gas Project,” the facility will convert the city’s solid waste to electric energy through melting-gasification, the first to be introduced in the Philippines.

To be put up by the Korean-owned CJ Global Company, the waste-to-energy project, inspired by a German technology-based process which is environment-friendly is expected to generate at least 10 megawatts of electricity to be supplied to local electric cooperatives and other existing power distribution utilities in the locality.

The power generation plant will make use of the approximately 200 tons of solid waste and biomass generated daily by the city’s 27 barangays to produce low-priced electricity using the process of gasification.

In a statement Friday, Naga City Mayor John Bongat said “this is green energy, sourced purely from waste”.

Unlike ordinary incineration, Bongat said gasification is zero-waste and there will be no toxic-fume emission or effluent that will go to the grounds or run to any body of water.

Apart from electricity, the process can also produce asphalt and methanol as by-products which can be used for road construction and fuel for motor vehicles, respectively, the mayor said.

The project is anchored on the contract for the establishment and operation of a waste-to-energy facility which was executed by and between the City Government of Naga and the Korean-based CJ Global Company on May 20, 2010 and a supplemental contract approved by virtue of Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) Resolution No. 2010-281 which was signed August 24, 2010 to ratify the contracts.

It will be implemented through a public-private partnership (PPP) or build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme that would expire after 20 years.

Bongat said the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the energy plant to be located within a five-hectare property near the foot of Mt. Isarog in Barangay San Isidro, Naga City was held last Thursday.

It was graced by CJ Global chairman Yeon-Joo Choi and attended by representatives of various stakeholders, city government officials and non-government organizations (NGOs).

Bongat said construction works start soon after the groundbreaking rites and its completion and commencement of operation are expected by the first quarter of 2014.

“We are studying some propositions for the inclusion in the project of the 14 neighboring municipalities comprising the Metro Naga towns which have been collaborating with each other under a “big brother, small brother” development alliance,” according to Bongat.

Metro Naga mayors who attended the groundbreaking rites have signified interest in disposing their waste to the facility, he said.

The selection of the CJ Global as partner in the establishment of the facility was endorsed to the SP by the then City Mayor Jesse Robredo.

Robredo died in a plane accident last August 18 while serving as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In his June 29, 2010 letter to the SP, Robredo explained that CJ Global’s proposed agreement was “found by the City Legal Officer to be more beneficial to the city” as it offers higher share in economic gains, preference to local labor and contractors, and commitment to provide cheaper power rate for Naga.
Robredo also mentioned other factors in favor of CJ Global such as projected creation of secondary industries that will be created from by-products of the gasification process like methanol for LPG supply for Naga and for household, commercial and transportation needs and the provision to ensure full compliance with environmental laws and commitment to ensure the safety of the public.

In the contract signed between the city government and CJ Global, it is stipulated, according to Bongat that the latter would “remit to the city the amount equivalent to 1.5 percent of its gross profits, if higher than 5 percent of net profits before income tax, generated from its operation of the facility.”

“The venture will be mutually beneficial to the interest of both parties, which include the constituents of the city,” the mayor added. (PNA) LAP/DOC/cbd/

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