QC, MV Pangilinan group discuss ‘waste to energy’ plant
The Quezon City government is in the middle of exploratory talks with the group of businessman Manny V. Pangilinan for the development of a waste-to-energy facility that can address the city’s garbage disposal requirements after the scheduled closure of the Payatas landfill later this year.
In an interview on Tuesday, city administrator Victor Endriga said the proposed joint venture between the local government and the MVP group would need P7 billion to P10 billion in capital, a 15-hectare area, and two to three years to complete.
Endriga said he and members of the city’s environmental protection and waste management department earlier toured such facilities in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan to study the feasibility of operating one in Quezon City.
The facility they saw in Japan, for example, “looked like a mall” instead of a plant and that its emission levels were closely being monitored. “The facility is so clean and there is no odor that you would not think garbage is being processed there. It’s very impressive,” the official told the Inquirer.
In Taiwan, the facilities are so efficient that two of them had to close down after running out of garbage, he added.
Quezon City produces approximately 1.2 tons of garbage daily, he said, “so if this volume would be processed in a waste-to-energy plant, it could already generate 45 megawatts of electricity.”
One megawatt can power approximately one thousand homes.
The plant converts waste materials into energy mainly with the generation of steam, which then drives turbines hooked up to power generators, he said.
“We are currently searching for a site for the facility. It would require at least 15 hectares,” he said.
Under the proposed joint venture, the city would supply the garbage while the Pangilinan group would finance the construction and operation of the facility.
As part of the deal, Endriga said, the city government might ask the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to subsidize its payment for power consumption for lamp posts. A discount on electricity costs, he said, may be possible considering the sizable return of investment.
In a statement, Mayor Herbert Bautista said the joint venture could figure heavily in the city’s long-term strategy for solid waste management.
“What we will be doing is avert a possible crisis in waste management in anticipation of the eventual closure of the existing sanitary landfill we are using,” he said.
Quezon City currently relies on a three-hectare sanitary landfill in Payatas, which receives 493 truckloads or close to 1,300 tons of waste a day.
The landfill is set to be closed this year, according to the city government.
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