Coal-fired power plant will have to wait

THE proponent of the 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Barangay Sawang Calero should reconsider the site it wants to put up the facility and comply with all environmental policies, said Cebu City Councilor Ma. Nida Cabrera.

Cabrera, chairman of the committee on environment, said Ludo Power Corp. (LPC) should follow all the points she raised in her report.

In an interview last Wednesday, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said that although the council did not endorse the project, the LPC can still seek reconsideration on the matter.

Labella, who also presides over the council, said that’s one of the proponent’s options.

Councilor Noel Wenceslao said the decision to refile the resolution endorsing the project has not been taken up.

He and Councilor Richard Osmeña had authored the resolution endorsing the project.

Wa pa ko mag huna-huna ana (I haven’t gotten to that yet) but they (project proponent) have the right to refile if they will address the points raised,” Wenceslao said.

Clarification

However, he emphasized the need for additional power supply since the city is expected to develop rapidly in the three to five years, creating more demand for electricity.

Wenceslao also clarified that they’re not in a hurry to pass the resolution.

Cabrera said while there’s need for additional power supply, the proponent must comply with environmental laws.

Aside from the project getting the approval of affected residents, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) should also be conducted. (The EIA measures the anticipated effects on the environment of the project. If the effects are unacceptable, design measures can be taken to reduce or avoid those effects.)

Cabrera pointed out that a coal-fired power plant should be built where there are fewer people, not in Sawang Calero, which is densely populated.

She said there should be a shift to renewable energy.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) also agreed that the LPC should first comply with the conditions pointed out by the committee on environment.

CCCI president Melanie Ng said the compliance of the environment policies was pointed out in their endorsement of the project.

“The viability of the project is not in question, it’s the environmental concern. So, probably once they are able to address the environmental concerns and then the commercial viability and the help that it contributes to (the) power problem (it) will be justified,” said CCCI president Melanie Ng.

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