Doubts raised on P4B project-A A +A
Thursday, October 4, 2012
CEBU City councilors and environment stakeholders questioned yesterday the track record and expertise of a firm that is seeking to undertake a P4-billion waste-to-energy project at the Inayawan sanitary landfill.
Environmental protection advocates are particularly concerned about the sustainability of Greenergy Solutions Inc.’s (GSI) proposed project and its possible harmful effects on humans and the environment.
During a public hearing on GSI’s proposed 25-year Cebu City Integrated Waste Management Project, City Councilors Margarita Osmeña and Alvin Dizon were apprehensive to hear that the company doesn’t have any similar project that the City Government can learn from, to gauge whether or not its proposal is viable.
Councilors and lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos of the Philippine Earth Justice Center also questioned some components of the proposed project, which they said still entails the burning of waste, which is prohibited by the Republic Act 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act.
Ramos said the City will also be violating the law if it proceeds with the project without a comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, which is also required by that law.
“What I’m requesting this body perhaps is to require the Solid Waste Management Board to explain why we don’t have the duly approved Solid Waste Management Plan… We cannot afford to go into a new technology where the basic requirements and system is not yet in place. We have to follow the law,” she told the council during the public hearing yesterday.
The proposed Cebu City Landfill Gas and Waste-to-Energy Project will be the first waste-to-energy facility in the country that can be registered under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations’ Framework Convention for Climate Change.
Based on GSI’s project plan, the power plant will convert 1,150 tons of wastes per day at the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill to generate 24 megawatts of power.
The power that will be generated by the project will be sold by GSI to the National Power Corp. at P7 per kilowatt hour, which will be the firm’s way of recovering its investment.
The project will be undertaken at no cost to the City Government, but the latter will have to allow GSI to use a four-hectare area of the landfill.
Before operating the waste-to-energy plant, GSI will also open a material recovery facility (MRF) where the wastes will be sorted.
Ruth Briones, president and chief executive officer of GSI, told reporters yesterday that the councilors’ and the environmental protection advocates’ worries are baseless.
She said they will be tapping experts who have more than a decade’s experience in
running similar facilities and have been studying the technology they will use.
GSI plans to operate an anaerobic digestion facility, which includes fermentation and composting system, a fertilizer plant and a biogas power plant. It will also put up a recycling facility.
“We are here to serve Cebu City and the people. We want to clean up the landfill. If the council doesn’t want it, we will push through with our projects in other regions,” Briones said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 04, 2012.