4 more coal-fired plants proposed in Central Luzon

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Coal-Free Central Luzon Movement (CFCLM) has warned of an “impending air pollution catastrophe” in the region because private companies plan to build four coal-fired power plants in Zambales and Bataan to add to the two coal-fired facilities that already operate in the region.

Msgr. Antonio Dumaual, CFCLM chair, sent out the warning ahead of the celebration of Earth Day today, when the group is set to hold protest caravans against what it called the “dirtiest source of electricity.”

Citing the impact of coal plants on public health and environmental protection, CFCLM said the government should stop the construction of a 600-megawatt plant by Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy) and a 200-MW plant by Korea Electric Power Corp., both in Subic, Zambales; a 600-MW plant representing Phase 2 of the Masinloc coal-fired power facility by American Energy Systems Philippines (AES Philippines) in Masinloc, Zambales; and a 600-MW plant by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) in Limay, Bataan.

In January, the Court of Appeals nullified the lease development agreement and environmental compliance certificate (ECC) of the power plant of RP Energy because of the lack of local government approval and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples’ certification and violation of ECC restrictions.

The appellate court, however, did not issue a temporary environmental protection order against the project because the power plant has yet to operate.

In an earlier statement, RP Energy said it presented “overwhelming evidence” that the power plant project would not cause any adverse environmental impact.

“It will utilize state-of-the-art technology and RP Energy took great care in complying with all the requirements for the issuance and amendments of the ECC, as required by the [Department of Environment and Natural Resources],” said lawyer George Aquino, counsel for RP Energy, in the statement.

Dumaual, however, said reports that their group had received showed that the RP Energy project “is almost a done deal.”

He said AES Philippines wants the construction of its coal-fired power plant to begin in 2014.

SMC’s plant, which is designed to process fluidized bead coal, is in the first stage of social preparation, he said.

Phase 1 of the Masinloc plant has been operating since it was developed during the administration of former President Fidel Ramos in the 1990s.

Phase 2, which is GN Power’s 600-MW project in Mariveles, has been undergoing test runs since January and is set to operate on May 1.

Citing studies by his group, Dumaual said coal-fired power plants emit hazardous gases, such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and sulfur oxide. He said these facilities also expel toxic chemicals, like mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and radioactive substances, like uranium and thorium.

He said a coal plant consumes 2.2 million gallons of water for its boilers, enough to dry up an irrigation system, and releases hot water of about the same amount it takes in.  Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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  • Horst Manure

    With natural gas at the buy one, take one level one would be taking the option to power the plants.

    • WeAry_Bat

      Yep, should have been natural gas. People are going to pay higher for electricity anyway, so why not gas.

  • mynnyx

    mga kamote talaga ang nagsusulong nitong coal plant anong nangyari sa calaca………….patay na ang dagat doon kasi puros itim na……….sana tamaan kayo ng kidlat gusto nyo lang magkamal ng pera,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • randyaltarejos

    Carbon emissions will aggravate air pollution thus destroying the atmosphere. Why can’t they just develop alternative ways to generate power like wind and solar, rather than introducing destructive ways to generate electricity for profits? Imports of coal fuels will only allow other countries to get rich at the expense of our environment. Think about it, my friends.

  • Cobra

    it’s a choice of the lesser evil,would people accept a situation where they go back to the dark candle ages?or can they afford the modern solar & other alternatives.The solution sometimes requires one to make the situation bad before it gets better.All so called first world countries polluted their environment very badly & then they cleaned up when they have the ability to do so.Most forests in europe are gone that’s why there is a high demand for third world to cut theirs.In a perfect world we all want the best but something has to give.Japan after turning off their nuclear power plants due to public pressure woke up that their industries can not work without the cheap electricity provided by these nuclear monsters.Some european countries even china are slowly putting up clean energy alternatives but it will take some time & a lot of money to do this in the meantime consumers & investors will not have a bar of it.

    • WeAry_Bat

      I haven’t found anything on environmental cleanup abroad of their coal-fired power plants. There is no profit in trying to remove trace mercury in the land and waters, including some radioactive elements.

  • WeAry_Bat

    If I guess, it is the people who will clean up the environment around CFPs, through ingesting the gradual build up of those heavy metals.

    If it is the case, I would like those who favored and even championed CFP to become the kidney and lung dirt rug of the environment by living in those areas.

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