EVEN with concerns raised against the project, Ludo Power Corp. (LPC) assured the public that the proposed coal-fired thermal power plant in Barangay Sawang Calero, Cebu City will not cause harmful effects on health and the environment.
In a familiarization tour at the Sual Power Plant in Pangasinan last Thursday, some barangay captains raised concerns over the proposed 300-megawatt (mw) coal-fired thermal power plant, particularly on the aspect of health and environment considering that coal will generate ash.
Sual Power Plant is the largest and most cost-effective coal-fired power plant in the country that can generate up to 1,218mw, or 20 percent of the total electricity requirement in Luzon.
It is located near the Lingayen Gulf in Sual, Pangasinan and was built in 1996.
The LPC will adopt the same but updated technology that Sual Power Plant is using because both are in partnership with Japanese firms Tokyo Electric Power Company and Marubeni Corp.
During the briefing before the tour started, Sawang Calero Barangay Captain Ariel Yburan asked LPC how it will handle the fly ash that will be generated by the power plant since it is the main concern of residents.
Nick Ramos Jr., plant coal plant manager of Sual Power Plant, said it will not be directly released to the air because an ash silo will be built, where fly ash will be stored.
The ash silo will be designed to accommodate ashes that have accumulated for a maximum of seven days.
The fly ash will be recycled and will be sold to a cement factory because it is one of the in-demand ingredients for making cement.
Aside from the ash silo, a barge will be used to transport the fly ash.
Since the coal that will be used in the plant will be pulverized from Indonesia, Ramos said everything in the facility will be enclosed, including the truck that will transport it to the cement factory if a barge is not available.
During the tour, personnel from Sual Power Plant explained how their facility works.
All of the elements including water that was used to produce electric energy were all processed, Ramos said, before these are returned to the surroundings.
The plant has a water treatment plant that processes seawater before the seawater is released back to the ocean.
To prove they are environment-friendly, Ramos showed hundreds of fish pens at the back of the plant that use treated water.
Unlike public perception, the Sual Power Plant does not emit thick black smoke. Only white smoke was seen coming out of its chimney, which was steam being released by the plant’s steamer, Ramos said.
Yburan was accompanied by Pahina San Nicolas Barangay Captain Antonio Caruzca, Suba Barangay Captain Jojo Sable and Duljo-Fatima Barangay Captain Elmer Abella.
The LPC also invited several barangay councilors and members of the media, among others.
The City Government was represented by Councilor Richie Osmeña.
The LPC invited some members of environmental groups, including Sawang Calero residents who oppose the project, but they refused to join the trip.