AboitizPower (AP) subsidiary Therma South Inc. is one step closer to starting the construction of its P25-billion 300-MW CFB coal-fired power plant project in southern Davao, after receiving its Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) recently.
The Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the certification last September 9, 2011.
The ECC, addressed to Therma South vice president Thomas Sliman, means the project has complied with government requirements to ensure that the project, once constructed and operational, will not cause any significant negative impact on the environment.
The document also certifies that the project’s Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and its operational and environmental protection plans received positive reviews from independent reviewers.
The ECC was signed by EMB OIC director Juan Miguel T. Cuna.
“We are happy to receive the ECC and AboitizPower, true to its promise of building a clean, safe and efficient power plant, will ensure that the facility will meet Philippine environmental standards as required by the certificate,” said Manuel M Orig, AP first vice president for Mindanao affairs.
“AboitizPower has been in Mindanao for more than 50 years and we will continue to live up to our reputation of corporate responsibility by providing clean, reliable and affordable power with this project.”
Therma South will continue to secure permits and clearances from other national government agencies as well as from local government units like Davao City and the municipality of Sta. Cruz before it could start construction. The project will take 40 months to build.
The project earlier received endorsements from the Davao City council, the municipal council of Sta. Cruz as well as the host barangays of Binugao in Toril and Inawayan on the Davao del Sur side.
The EMB-DENR, through the ECC ordered Therma South to “implement the measures presented in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and the Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (EMMoP), intended to protect and mitigate the project’s adverse impacts on community health, welfare and the environment.”
“Environmental considerations shall be incorporated in all phases and aspects of the project,” the ECC added.
With Mindanao’s demand for energy constantly growing amid increasing population and rapid development in many towns and cities, the island’s power supply is at a precarious stage and is seen to run short in the next couple of years.
By 2014, government and independent think tanks predict that Mindanao will be short of around 480 MW of power – enough to cut power supply entirely to the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Gen. Santos, Butuan and Zamboanga.
Mindanao’s heavy dependence on hydro power coming from the Agus-Pulangi complex also negatively affects the power situation during the summer months and long dry spells.
The Therma South project is aimed at addressing the shortage while lessening the island’s dependence on hydro power, using modern CFB technology that ensures the reduction of sulphur emissions into the atmosphere.
AP, through its other subsidiary Hedcor Inc. is also building several hydro power plants in Davao City, Davao del Sur and Bukidnon totalling some 55 MW.
AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, retail and power services. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy in the Philippines with several hydroelectric and geothermal assets in its generation portfolio and also has fossil-fired power plants located across the country. The company owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (For more details, please visit:www.aboitizpower.com and www.cleanergy.com.ph)