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US firm offers to construct $450-M plasma power plant

An American firm is proposing to build a $450-million power plant in Cebu using plasma technology that would  convert  municipal and industrial waste into electricity.

The proposal  will be presented to the Cebu provincial government on July 22.

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Al Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Quantum International and Quantum Cebu Financial Management Inc. (Quantum Cebu), on Saturday said that if the  plan is approved,  the company  can start building the plant in  90 days.

One plant can provide one megawatt of power out of each ton of garbage, he said.

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He said the cost of producing the power would be 10 percent to 15 percent lower than that of the current price of electricity in the country.

“Our plant will produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, and it shall sustain the energy requirements of the city for the next 10 to 20 years,” Johnson said.

“The Philippines has the potential to be the most powerful country in Asia.”

Facilities would be built at no cost to the  municipality or local government because the firm would build, own and manage these facilities.

Quantum International aims to build 5 gasification plants in the Philippines in the next five years using “green” plasma technology.

The plant will employ 400 people during construction over an 18 month period.

Johnson said the plant will require 100 US engineers with the rest of the workforce from the Philippines.

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Plasma arc technology was developed by the National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA) in the 1960s to test the integrity of the heat shield materials protecting spacecraft.

It uses  artificial lighting to  generate temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun and has been used in iron foundries like those of General Motors  and later on used to dispose municipal wastes.

Johnson said this is a way to address problems of  landfills and dumpsites.

He explained that waste materials will go through a gasification process that will produce carbon-based residue.  This rock-like mateiral is then converted into gas which can power  to driver turbines and generate electricity.

Aside from renewable energy, part of the corporation’s plans for the Philippines is its construction of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) and steel structures for hotels, hospitals, commercial and office complexes, and government buildings.

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TAGS: Cebu, energy and resources, power plant
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