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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Energy firm told: ‘Step up security’

A TOWN police official has urged a company to beef up its security measures once the construction of its P30-billion coal-fired power plant starts in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Senior Inspector Rogelio Labor, Villanueva police chief, said the 405 megawatt (MW) power plant could attract groups and individuals who are out to sabotage or extort the management of FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis).

FDC Misamis is a subsidiary of FDC Utilities, Inc., the utilities and infrastructure arm of the Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC).

Labor said they are ready to maintain peace and order in the municipality, including that of the properties and operation of FDC Misamis.

The police official said the power plant should expect any untoward incidents that could happen in the future, so he urged the management to really put up measures of their own aside from the police monitoring and visibility at the Phividec Industrial Estate premises where the power plant is located.

Demand letters

He said some companies in the fast-growing municipality have been receiving demand letters from unidentified groups for money and threats of attacks should they fail to give in to their demands.

Labor cited Coca-Cola bottling plant, Philippine Sinter and a metal company that had been targeted for extortion.

“But they (companies) didn’t give any amount. Besides, they have nothing to fear as the provincial police office is based here, and also the Philippine Army’s 58th Brigade,” Labor said.

But he encouraged the FDC Misamis management to tighten its security and provide security forces to guard their properties.

CCTV

Putting up of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, which is now an ordinance in Villanueva, can be a big help to maintain peace and order in the plant site and its premises.

FDC Misamis executives, together with town officials, held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new coal-fired thermal power plant in Villanueva, currently considered the biggest power project in Northern Mindanao.

In an FDC Misamis statement, the coal-fired power plant will meet the increasing demand for energy in the region and expect to attract more investments and developments for the province.

A time capsule laying ceremony and symbolic tree-planting activities were held within the Phividec Industrial Estate.

More opportunities

Villanueva Mayor Julio Uy said the plant would be a vital project that can generate more opportunities for local residents.

“I am optimistic that the FDC Misamis project will generate jobs and economic opportunities not only for Villanueva but for the entire province as well,” Uy said.

“We make it a policy in our town to ensure full cooperation with investors because development in Villanueva means development for Misamis Oriental,” she added.

Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano, for his part, said: “With the province’s intention to combine environmental preservation and development, all we want is to ensure we have socially responsible investors in Misamis Oriental and I sincerely believe FDC Misamis is one such partner.”

The power plant is a multi-billion peso investment by FDC Misamis that will use the latest in clean coal technology: the circulating fluidized bed boiler technology.

Cleanest process to burn coal

Considered as the cleanest process to burning coal, the technology removes more than 95 percent of sulfur emissions. It creates negligible nitrogen oxide levels while generating useful byproducts such as calcium sulfate for cement production.

The FDC Misamis said contractual commitments have been obtained from 17 electric cooperatives with franchise areas in Misamis Oriental and other parts of Mindanao, to help ensure the supply of reliable and competitively-priced power for the province and the rest of the region.

These agreements secure the contracted capacity for the project’s two units of 135 MW each.

Agreements with other customers are currently ongoing for the third unit. Target commercial operations would be early 2016, the FDC Misamis added.

In a statement, FDC Misamis President Jesus Alcordo reiterated the company’s commitment toward environmentally sound projects and called for a balanced development.

“The Mindanao grid needs to have enough new capacity to ensure longevity of power sources without the fear of blackouts occurring in the region,” Alcordo said.
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