Consortium mulls waste-to-energy investment to reduce power rates

by Marvyn N. BenaningAugust 6, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE United Earth Energy Consortium-Philippines (UEE Consortium) is ready to build power-generating plants in the country using its own money and without the government issuing any sovereign guarantee.

UEE Consortium said the crafting of waste-to-energy (WTE) guidelines by the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) bodes well for the country, since it would allow various parties to show they can produce electricity without resorting to incineration.

The consortium said the technology it would bring to the country does not require the incineration of waste, which is banned under the Clean Air Act, since it uses pyrolytic techniques.

Moreover, the consortium noted that the electricity produced will cost less than the power generated by coal-fired, geothermal and hydropower plants.

UEE Consortium assured Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez and NSWMC Executive Director Ely Ildefonso that the WTE power-generating plants it contemplates in the Philippines would be on a  par with the WTE facilities now operating in the state of Georgia in the United States and in some countries in the Caribbean.

“The guideline adopting any technology that can convert waste to energy will be allowed with certain standards and following existing laws,” Ildefonso said.

The technologies covered by the guidelines are gasification, pyrolysis, bioreactor, biomethanation, hydrolysis, pyrolytic gasification, plasma and other thermal processes.

Lopez said she is open to WTE power plants but wants ironclad guarantees that these facilities would not pollute the environment.

The consortium said it will invest in the Philippines and build several power plants with the initial capacity ranging from 20 megawatts (MW) to 30 MW.

To keep the power plants humming, they would require all the waste available, including bagasse from sugar production, rice straws, wood shavings and even garbage from markets, supermarkets and homes.

Funding will be sourced 100 percent overseas, the consortium stressed.

In explaining its WTE technology, UEE Consortium said it has patented several technologies, foremost of which is thermal decomposition, which requires a carefully monitored thermal process to cause the decomposition of waste into its component gases.

It can also apply gasification, which calls for the facility to “cook” waste at high temperatures without oxygen, thus releasing the gas and steam that would then generate electricity.

Other patented technologies may also be applied in WTE power plants, UEE Consortium explained, like plasma arc torches, gasplasma, geoplasma and plasma heating.

Consortium officers Bobby Tuason and Chito Dakis said since they will be using a WTE process, they guaranteed Lopez and Ildefonso that the waste they would use as feedstock for their electricity-generating plants would not produce greenhouse gases.