Construction of coal plant still on schedule

THE construction of the P25-billion 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant project in Binugao, Toril, Davao City is still on schedule even after the death of a site manager in an accident at Boiler no. 2, according to executives of Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of the Aboitiz Power Corp.

Police identified the victim as Chinese national Sha Hong Bing, 39. Sha, who was the assistant site manager of the project, died after he was hit accidentally on his face by a pulley while supervising the construction of the coal plant last January 6.

TSI safety supervisor Abraham A. Villegas, in a press briefing at Villa Margarita yesterday, said only the construction of Boiler No. 2 has been suspended for investigation and review while its some 50 workers have been transferred to other areas of the project site where construction works have continued. The project employs more than 2,500 workers.

"The suspension of operations will be not more than a week until we comply with the safety requirement set by the Department of Labor," he said.

TSI first vice president Bobby M. Orig, said there are procedures that need to be rechecked and the reclassification and recertification of equipment to make sure that the right equipments being used.

He said stakeholders can be assured that they are still on schedule despite the accident and can expect that by the first quarter of 2015 the operations of the plant will begin.

"Therma South is still committed to complete the first unit of our 300MW baseload power plant project by first quarter 2015, to provide Mindanao with the much needed power to bring us out of the Mindanao power crisis," Orig said.

He said the plant is more than 60 percent complete and by the first quarter consumers can expect first 150MW to begin its commercial operations while the other 150MW on the second quarter.

Once it begins its commercial operations the plant will provide electricty to distribution utilities in the island including Davao Light and Power Corp., Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc., and Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative Inc., to name a few.
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