THE Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has started its rejection campaign against the proposed construction of a 150 megawatt coal-fired power plant by the Panay Energy Development Corp (PEDC) based at Barangay Ingore, La Paz district here.
PEDC is a subsidiary of power firm Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) and business partner Metrobank group, is also the owner of the twin generators coal-fired power plant with 164 MW, also in Brgy. Ingore.
Ted Aldwin Ong, FDC secretary general, stressed that Iloilo is not a dumpsite of Metrobank’s climate inducing projects nor it is the dumping ground of its coal pollution and false promises.
PEDC’s P6.2-billion investment expansion in Iloilo City is expected to meet the challenging demands for power in the city and the rest of Panay Island electric cooperatives.
Plant construction is set to start by October 2013 and construction is expected finish in 33 months in meeting the growing needs of business and domestic consumption.
FDC legal counsel Romeo Gerochi pointed out that the power output of the existing coal-fired power plant is more than enough to meet the power needs of the city at more than 80 MW.
PEDC justified the expansion project by saying the recent data showed the city has already reached more than 90 MW due to the entry of several big businesses and investments. Iloilo City is fast becoming an investment and business haven in this part of the Visayas that lured national and international companies to come and invest here.
Aside from the Panay Electric Company (PECO) as distribution arm, PEDC has also signed power purchase agreements with other electric cooperatives in Panay, Guimaras and Negros to ensure a steady supply of power.
Gerochi said that PEDC is once again, giving false hopes by giving cheap electricity, solve blackouts and mitigate pollution. Two years down the road, however, the contrary has taken place and the impacts are prominent.
These are expensive power rates, everyday rotating blackouts and aggravated pollution in Iloilo, the lawyer said.