RDC supports 200-MW coal plant in Davao
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (10 November) -- Regional Development Council chairperson Vicente Lao does not discredit the fact that there is a collateral damage in the proposed 200 megawatt coal plant to be built by Aboitiz Power.
However, he claimed that the benefits weigh more than the possible negative effects. Lao announced the full support of the RDC on the planned construction of a coal plant.
"If nothing is in the pipeline between now until 2013, then it would be difficult for us to make do with our existing power," he said.
President of Aboitiz Power Erramon Aboitiz recently announced its plan of building a 200 megawatt circulating fluidized-bed coal power plant in the city targeted to start operation by the middle of 2014.
Even without bilateral contract with wholesale buyers, Aboitiz Power is decided to take risks in building the said plant.
"The company sees a coal plant as the best source of electricity from the standpoint of reliability, affordability, and safety," said Aboitiz.
Known for building hydropower plants, the company opted to develop an entirely new energy source after realizing that hydropower dependency is highly vulnerable to weather conditions.
The company president clarified that existing hydropower plants will continue operation alongside the construction of the coal plant, its largest investment to date.
Aboitiz also assures the people in Davao for a cleaner and more efficient coal fght about by new technologies.
Unlike the previous image of coal power, recent technologies now ensure a cleaner, low sulfur emission.
Aboitiz, too, guarantees that operations will all be guided by strict international and Philippines' environmental, safety, and health standards.
Lao, too, urged the local government to embrace this private sector investment as this can be benefited by the city in luring more investors to do business here.
"We can't advocate for any investment if there is no enough power in the locality. If we have this plant, Davao becomes a magnet of power." he said.
"Davao is the biggest user of power in Mindanao, thus, it is best to build sufficient power plants in the city to ensure power supply security," said Aboitiz.
Aboitiz also finds building the plant in Davao as most economical since they no longer need to build new transmission lines because the source is already in the city itself.
Social and economic benefits are promised to the city and its people. This guarantees Aboitiz Power to invest more than P15 billion for the plant and a regular employment for up to 200 people. (PIA-XI) [top]