SBMA: Coal plant means Subic’s death


STUDENTS stage a lightning rally to protest a bigger coal project last June during a public hearing on the RP Energy plan to build a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant inside Subic Freeport Zone that officials and residents are opposing. ROBERT IANNE GONZAGA/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

SUBIC, Zambales—The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will not entertain any proposal to put up another coal-fired power plant in the free port zone, according to the agency’s top official.

“It’s not going to happen. We won’t allow that,” said SBMA Chair Roberto Garcia, reacting to reports that Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), an energy firm owned by the South Korean government, is pushing through with its plan to build a 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant that will supply the electricity requirements of Korean shipbuilder Hanjin operating inside the free port.

Garcia made the statement on Friday when he joined the kickoff ceremony of the Malampaya gas-to-power project’s latest platform project here.

Still interested

Kepco, he said, is not a Subic locator and has no role in Subic Freeport affairs. Garcia said Kepco had not submitted any proposal to build the power plant either.

On Friday, the Inquirer quoted Kepco president Kyu-Beng Hwang as saying, “Pursuant to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the governments of the Philippines and Korea, Kepco is still interested in putting up a power plant with Hanjin in the Philippines.”

Kyu-Beng was referring to the agreement signed by former Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and South Korea Minister of Knowledge Economy Hong Suk-woo during South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s three-day state visit to the Philippines in 2011.

The MOU stipulates that the coal-fed facility would be put up inside the Subic eco-zone to serve the electricity requirements of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Ltd.-Philippines Inc. (HHICPI), the biggest locator in the free port.

No SBMA role

But Garcia said the MOU did not involve SBMA, which has disavowed any commitment to the Kepco arrangement with the Department of Energy.

“As I understand it, they have already changed the location of the project to Bataan [instead of Subic],” Garcia said.

He said no coal-fired plant would rise in Subic under his watch. “If another coal plant were added to Subic Bay, it would mean the death of the Subic Freeport,” he said.

He said Kepco might have been pushing for the 200-MW coal plant for Hanjin because the Aquino administration had committed to supply the Korean shipbuilder with cheap power, which is an incentive for the company to locate here.

Cheap electricity

Under Executive Order No. 701 by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2008, the National Power Corp. and the National Transmission Corp.  would provide Hanjin discounted rates of $0.0491 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the first six years of its operation and $0.0600 per kWh from the seventh year until the 10th year in its shipyards in Subic Freeport and in Mindanao.

The commitment was justified by the fact that Hanjin would create 50,000 jobs and infuse $3.6 billion worth of investments in the country.

The Palace directive stated that there was a “need for the concerned government entities to support the investment of [HHICPI], particularly its power requirements.”

Garcia said the Aquino administration was already addressing Hanjin’s power needs and that they were close to reaching an agreement.

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  • mynnyx

    pauwiin nyo na yang mga koreano……………….ala naman ginawang mabuti sa subic……….namamatay yong mga trabahador nila sa shipyard tapos ito na naman gusto ulet nilang magtayo ng coal plant…………na nakakamatay sa kapaligiran ng subic pati zambales……………..

    • beerhunters

      Ban all fossil fueled power generating plants! boycott the use of computers, TV, lighting, electric powered machines and equipment. Let us just plant camote and sing the song “Bahay Kubo”!!

  • kinutil

    maraming biyaya ang DIOS na ibinibigay sa atin at nasa sa atin na rin kong papaano natin ito mapapakinabangan sa tamang paraan,Bakit ba sa tuwing may mga Proyekto kaagad-agad tinututulan, Hindi ba na sa bawat proyekto may mga dalubhasa na naga-aaral bago ipatupad ang proyekto?Bakit itong mga umaayaw walang maipakita  na risulta ayon sa kanilang pag aaral na hindi nga maganda ang proyekto.Hindi kaya pakana ito ng isang negosyante na ayaw magkaroon ng kakupitinsya?

  • Carlos

    Etong mga hunghang na protesta ng protesta ngunit di nila alam ang puno at dulo ng protesta ay dapat itigil na. Ano ang masama sa “Coal-powered” power plant? Pollution? Marami dito sa America Coal-powered energy plant. Mas marami sa China, India, Russia at iba pa. Puwede ma-control etong pollution, kaya kayong mga torpe na nabayaran para mag-welga ay manahimik na lang. OK? Isipin ninyo ang matititpid at maitutulong diyan sa lugar ninyo. Magkakaroon pa ng trabaho aang at least mga 1,000 ninyong kababayan diyan. Sa tingin ba ninyo yong nasa Russia, China, India na mga coal-powered energy plant care about the pollution? Itigil na natin ang ating ka-stupiduhan. Minsan na natin pina-alis ang mga Amercano diyan na umuupa ng $999,000,000 kada isang taon. Ano ngayon? Gutom!

  • beerhunters

    Gas Fueled Power Generation

    CH4 + 2O2 —> energy + CO2 +2H2O

    carbon dioxide is still produced, what do you say, SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, & people???

  • $37644997

    I don’t see any pollution in subic bay except a few  polluted minds.Looks like with-out the 10% commision,they reserve the right not to allow businesses around.

  • Horst Manure

    Sadly ship building is a thing of the past.

  • coty

    again again again and again, this is an issue that our DOE is so helpless and clueless about and just goes with the wind wherever it blows!

    “coal and natural gas have much lower capital costs, and they tend to KILL only a few at a time, WHICH IS HIGHLY PREFERRED BY POLITICIANS”! _ _  Bill Gates

  • malayangpinoy

    nabayaran na naman ng mga kumunista ang mga ito kaya ayaw magkaroon ng improvement sa ating bansa natin gawa ng mga inutil na ito.alam natin na kailangan ng mga investors na gumamit ng electricity para sa mga investment nila.pano dadami ang mga investors kong wla tayong power source?

    • beerhunters

      exactly! the object of the communists is to weaken the economy through joblessness and desperation on the part of the populace, thus create and spark a revolutionary condition!!

  • George

    Ano ayaw nyo kay binay

  • stfu_moron

    magkano kaya bayad dyan sa mga nag welga?

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