DCWD has no objection to Aboitiz power plant

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


THE Davao City Water District (DCWD) has no objection to the plans of AboitizPower to expand its baseload power plant from 300 megawatts (MW) to 645 MW.

During the joint committee hearing last Friday on the proposed expansion, officials of AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South committed that they will use only surface water and will not drill wells for its water use.

"Since we are closer to the coast, we are already at the tail-end of the water source. The households and the other industries have already taken their water needs. TSI will only take what is left," Bobby Orig, 1st vice president of Therma South, said.

"If this water is not used, it will just flow out to the sea," he added.

DCWD Engineering Department OIC Oscar dela Cruz, during the committee hearing, said that as long as TSI will use surface water, Davao's water supply will not be affected.

"Therma South has committed to use surface water only and we have no objection to that," dela Cruz said.

Therma South in its original proposal to build 300 MW, said it will use 1,500 cu m of fresh water as its "process water."

Process water is the water that will be heated to turn into steam. The pressurized stea, will then turn the turbines to produce power.

The steam will be recycled. According to Therma South, the steam will be cooled and turned back into water to be re-heated again.

Sea water will be used as cooling for the system.

The committee hearing was also attended by groups opposing the power plant construction led by the Davao No to Coal coalition.

Orig said the power plant has an area where they can build a de-salination facility in case water in the area will not be enough.

"This will be our last option as de-salinating water will be costly and this will have an impact on the power rates," Orig said.

Therma South is expanding its power plant to address future energy needs of Mindanao. Orig said that new capacity is needed not only to solve the present shortage in power in Mindanao, but also to address future needs.

"We should not make the mistakes of the past where we failed to build power plants to address future needs. Let us not wait for brownouts to hit us first before we start building power plants," he added.

The first 300 MW of TSI will be completed in early 2015. If approved, the expanded capacity will come online by 2017 and 2018.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 28, 2014.

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