DMCI raises budget for Palawan power plant to P2 billion

by James Loyola, 23 August 2015
from Manila Bulletin

DMCI Power Corporation, a subsidiary of DMCI Holdings Inc., has raised its budget for a power plant in Palawan to P1.8 billion to P2 billion from the original P1.6 billion as it installs a biomass feed-in facility to make its plant more environment-friendly.

In an interview, DMCI Power president Nestor Dadivas said they have acceded to the request of the local community in Narra, Palawan for them to incorporate a biomass feed-in capability for its planned coal-fired power plant.

 “With the modification, the power plant will be able to use things like agricultural waste, baggase, garbage, and others as fuel to generate power,” said Dadivas adding that “the biomass feed-in was incorporated as part of the community’s request.”

Dadivas said the company has already obtained the required endorsement by the host barangay and municipal council.

DMCI’s coal-fired, circulating fluidized bed (CFB) power plant has been facing stiff resistance from environmental groups in Palawan, a province known for its strong advocacy for environmental protection.

 “Some sectors are opposing the construction of the coal plant claiming that it will destroy the natural and biodiversity heritage of Palawan,” said DMCI chairman Isidro Consunji.

With the new design for the power plant, the company is hopeful it will finally earn the nod of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) for the needed permit so that construction of the plant can proceed.

With the additional cost for the biomass feed-in capacity, DMCI expects to have longer payback period of 8 to 9 years instead of 6 to 7 years to recoup its investment in the 15MW power plant capacity.

Consunji explained earlier that the capacity of the proposed power plant is “32 percent lower than the 22MW coal plant that has been operating in Bataraza, Palawan for over 10 years.”

He noted that, “despite this 10-year old coal plant, the heritage and tourist appeal of Palawan has only gotten stronger over time.”

“Once operational, the Narra coal plant’s mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission will be 1,000 times lower than the prescribed emission level under the Philippine Clean Air Act. And its sulfur oxide (SOx) emission will also be 1,307 times lower than the prescribed emission level under the Philippine Clean Air Act,” he added.