Pulong urges power plant contractor to set safety measures

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


DAVAO City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte has urged the contractor overseeing the construction of the coal-fired power plant in Binugao, Toril to set up safety measures to avoid similar incidents that killed one of its engineers on January 6.

"Advice lang sa construction company nga magbutang sila'g additional safety measures nga dili na mausab labi na nga langyaw pa gyud tong namatay. Nagkulang siguro sila o wala nagbantay tung langyaw (They need to put up additional safety measures especially that the victim was a foreigner)," Duterte told the media in an interview at his office Tuesday morning.

Assistant site manager Sha Hong Bingm, 39 and a Chinese national, encountered an accident in Boiler No. 2 while supervising the construction at the site on Jan. 6.

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He died after he was accidentally hit on the face by a pulley block when it broke. Sha was a contractor of Nantong-Dragon, the sub contractor of True North.

The accident, being the first major accident after more than six million man hours, caused the suspension of the construction of Boiler No. 2. They expect the suspension to last less than a week after safety requirements are complied.

The construction site currently employs around 2,500 workers. TSI has contracted Australia-based contractor Black & Veatch Leighton Consortium (BVL) and Chinese contractor True North to oversee the construction of the plant.

At present, True North and Nantong Dragon's operations in the site were suspended following the accident.

Councilor Louie John Bonguyan, chairman of the council’s committee on energy, said they have yet to decide whether they will grant the application of the Therma South Inc., a subsidiary of the Aboitiz Power Corp.

The company has asked the 17th City Council for its favorable endorsement on its plan to increase the capacity of the 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant being constructed in Binugao, Toril to 645MW.

Bonguyan said they have set the second round of committee hearing on Jan. 24 to meet all the sectors concerning the application of AbotizPower.

He said they also conducted an ocular inspection at the site in Binugao, Toril on Jan. 9.

Manuel Orig, first vice president for Mindanao Affairs, said there is a need for additional capacity to fully supply Mindanao's continued development and growth in order to save people from experiencing further brownouts.

Orig said the first unit of the currently built coal-fired power plant will be completed by March 2015, while the second unit is set for completion in June 2015.

He said the proposed expansion of the additional 345MW is scheduled to be completed by 2017 for the Unit 3 of 172.5MW, while the additional Unit 4 of 172.5 MW will be scheduled for completion by 2018. (With reports from RJL)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 16, 2014.

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