‘Council may nix waste project’
A $102 million waste-to-energy project using Cebu City’s garbage has the support of Mayor Michael Rama but it now depends on the City Council whether to approve it.
Features of the system, which aims to produce 24 megawatts of electricity, were presented in a briefing by the proponents on Wednesday.
“I believe the project is really viable but our only fear is this might be killed politically,” said Alan Dinampo, vice president of the Pollution Control Association of the Philippines Inc. Central Visayas Office (PCAPI-7), in reaction.
Most of the councilors are critical of the mayor and belong to his former party, Bando Osmena- Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK).
Jade Ponce, chairman of the Cebu City Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB), said the mayor has already approved the project but “the ball is now with the council.”
“The city will not spend anything for this,” said Ponce during the briefing.
The $102 million project is set to be financed by British investor Aidan Stretch of Sinova Holdings with Boustead Engineering Limited, a Singaporean-based company.
“There is no cost for the city,” said Anita Celdran, country manager of the Greenergy Solutions Inc.
The company proposed to convert the methane gas produced by garbage in the Inayawan sanitary landfill into electric power through a gasification process. A revenue-sharing scheme has to be agreed by the parties.
Revenue could also be earned through Carbon Credits or Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs), said the company.
Dinampo welcomed the project as a way to deal with Cebu City’s solid wastes.
“The private sector is lobbying for it. This should be the day; let’s do it now,” he said.
About 325 tons of garbage are collected daily in Cebu City. Only 40 percent is hauled from the Inayawan landfill to Consolacion town’s landfill. The remaining 60 percent create methane gas.
The city government spends P100 million a year transporting garbage out of the city because the Inayawan landfill is already full.
Dinampo said he hopes the project will be sponsored in the Council by any of five councilors – Nida Cabrera, Michael Ralota, Roberto Cabarrubias, Eduaro Rama or Philip Po.
Dr. Bernardo Tadeo, president and chief operating officer of Greenergy Solutions Inc., said the The Cebu City Integrated Waste-to-Energy Project would reduce reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by capturing and flaring the methane produced by rotting garbage in the Inayawan Landfill.
Anaerobic digestion and biogas collection will also prevent new GHG emissions.
If approved, this would be the first waste-to-energy project in the Philippines involving a Local Government Unit (LGU) that is registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nation’s Framework Convention for Climate Change.
The Cebu city government previously engaged Philippine Bio Sciences Co. for a waste-to- energy project some years ago but it did not take off.
The new project will be managed by a Special Purpose Corporation (SPC) to be set up by Greenergy Solutions Inc. in a 25-year Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the city.
A joint oversight committee will be formed with Cebu City Govt and SPC to monitor and evaluate project.
Under Phase 1, an anaerobic digester will be installed and landfill remediation will be undertaken over six to nine months with commercial operations to start in December 2012 to March 2013.
In Phase 2, a waste gasification facility and power generation facility will be installed over 18 to 24. months, with operations set December 2013 to March 2014
About 420 workers wil be hired.
Celdran said the project was approved before by former mayor Tomas Osmena.
“Mayor Osmeña before wanted to get rid of the smell that will reach the South Road Properties (SRP),” said Celdran.
“It just a matter of getting it implemented and putting a mechanism in place to make it sustainable no matter what political party is in charge,” said Celdran.
Ana Marie Cabigas, head of external affairs and relations of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said the chamber may issues a resoltuion supporting the project./Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao