Alcantara-led coal plant construction gains ground-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Construction of the Alcantara-led 210-megawatt coal power plant near a world-class scuba diving spot is set to go full blast, a company official said.
Last week, at least a thousand protesters trooped to nearby Maasim, Sarangani to express their opposition to the $450 million power plant project, which the proponent, Sarangani Energy Corp., boasted will ease the supply shortfall in the area.
Oscar Benedict E. Contreras III, Alsons Power Business Unit manager for communications and stakeholder relations, said Sarangani Energy, a subsidiary of Alsons Consolidated Resources (ACR), will turn over the site Friday to the contractor for the start of construction works.
Last year, South Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd was awarded the contract to build the coal-power plant, which is opposed by various local sectors on concerns over human health and the environment.
"Mobilization for civil works have already begun and some heavy equipment is already at the site," Contreras said.
He said that they have also started the pre-screening of laborers from the locality of the site clearing operations, which gained ground last week.
The contractor will make the final selection of 110 initial workers for the site clearing operations, Contreras said.
Opposing the project, Ryan Lariba, spokesperson of the Bayan-Soccsksargen, said in a statement that the project should be opposed because it will supposedly add and worsen climate change conditions in the area.
He also claimed that the power plant project would not bring down electricity rates, contrary to what the company has been saying.
Instead of pushing coal power plants, Lariba said the government should encourage investments in environment-friendly power sources like hydro, solar and wind.
Contreras said they respect the views of those opposing the project, adding that they have been engaging "all stakeholders" in dialogues.
Sarangani Energy had acquired an environmental compliance certificate in 2009 from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 06, 2013.