The controversial P2.1-billion waste-to-energy (WTE) project by proponent Austworks Corp. and the Puerto Princesa City Government has been adopted “in principle” by the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).
However, power cooperative board of director’s chair Jeffrey Y. Tan-Endrigas said Thursday their adoption will still be forwarded for “confirmation” to the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA).
Endriga added that their adoption of the WTE is also because the old power supply contract of Delta P is already expiring soon.
“Actually, we already adopted the ano… in principle meron na tayong resolution adopting the waste-to-energy. Pero subject pa rin ito sa… isu-subject pa rin natin ito sa confirmation ng DOE at saka NEA (Actually, we already adopted the… in principle we already have a resolution adopting the waste-to-energy. But we will subject this… we will still subject this to the confirmation of the DOE and the NEA),” he said.
He said just like their adoption of resolutions to bid out fresh power supply contracts for 20 megawatts for the main grid and 10 megawatts for El Nido hybrid systems, the WTE project is also “moving forward” at their level.
Endriga said that per their information, what the waste-to-energy project just lacks is the “distribution impact study”
“Parang kulang na lang yata is ‘yong distribution impact study noon kasi hindi natin alam kung saan nila itatayo, wala pa silang sina-submit so kailangan pa nilang ipakita ‘yon (I think what they lack is the distribution impact study because we don’t know yet where they will construct it, they have not submitted this so we need to see it),” he said.
He said Austworks Corp. must also show the “due diligence” on how it will connect their WTE plant to the PALECO.
Endriga said the “ball is now in the hands” of Austworks Corp.
He said although they have adopted it, the Austworks Corp. proposed project must first pass the evaluation of the DOE and the NEA
“Kung sa atin lang ‘yan at di na natin kailangang hingiin ang approval ng government agencies, ay dapat last year tapos na ‘yan. Kaso lang kailangan nating i-justify dahil unang-una may kataasan ang rate nila. Kailangan nilang i-unbundle ‘yon at i-explain nila kung paano sila nag-arrive sa rate na ‘yon considering walang fuel ‘yon,” Endriga pointed out.
(If the decision is only up to us and not the government agencies, then it would have been completed last year. But the thing is they need to justify it because, first, their rate is too high. They have to unbundle it and explain how they arrived at such a rate considering they won’t use fuel.)
Austworks Corp. is reportedly proposing to sell WTE-generated power at around P15 per kilowatt hour.
Austworks Corp. representatives have claimed that its Westinghouse thermal gasification technology can convert 110 metric tons of industrial solid wastes per day in the city landfill in Barangay Sta. Lourdes to 5.5 megawatts of electricity.
In 2018, the coalition No Burn Pilipinas (NBP) described the P2.1-billion deal with Austworks Corp. “dubious,” claiming it has no track record in undertaking such project.
The NBP said waste incineration is also prohibited under the Clean Air Act and contravenes the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. (with reports from Rachel Ganancial)