More good than harm from coal plant, says mayor | Inquirer News

More good than harm from coal plant, says mayor

/ 05:00 AM November 16, 2018

SAN FERNANDO CITY — A 670-megawatt coal-fired power plant project in Luna town, La Union province, which some residents and environmental groups have opposed, will bring more good than harm to the community, Mayor Victor Marvin Marron said on Thursday.

The project of Global Luzon Energy Development Corp., a subsidiary of Global Business Power Corp. of the Metro Pacific Group of Companies, will rise on a 41-hectare property at the coastal villages of Carisquis and Nalvo Sur in Luna.

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The project site is a stone’s throw away from the famous Luna pebble beach and environment groups like the Koalisyon Isalbar ti Pintas ti La Union (Coalition to Save the Beauty of La Union) have raised concerns about the impact of the plant’s operation on the environment.

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But Marron said, “We have seen the plant operations in Cebu and Iloilo and we didn’t see black fumes that are usually associated with coal plants.”

He said the project would benefit not just the town but the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, which would require more electricity.

“Without power, how will our businesses and industries run? With the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, we expect additional demand for power to support development,” he said.

“As it would take around two to three years to build a power plant and we can’t afford to have rotating [blackouts], we need to anticipate and prepare for the growth of energy demand,” he said.

The power plant will implement environmental protection measures to ensure that its operations will not affect marine life and agriculture, he said, adding that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will also make sure the project will not destroy the environment.

During its construction, the plant will need at least 2,500 workers and residents will be given priority in the hiring, Marron said. Once the plant starts operations, it will be needing 300 personnel. —YOLANDA SOTELO

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