PNOC unit eyeing waste-to-energy project in Baguio

By Myrna M. Velasco – January 13, 2019, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

The renewable energy investment arm of state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is eyeing to develop a waste-to-energy project in Baguio City which will then help ease that locality’s waste disposal dilemmas.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the proposed venture has already been sealed between PNOC-Renewables Corporation (PNOC-RC) and the city government of Baguio.

Waste-to-energy facilities are classified under the genre of renewable energy, fundamentally falling under the category of biomass resources.

As noted by PNOC-RC, Baguio City is currently facing “solid waste crisis and is running out of disposal facility due to its rugged and mountainous location,” that are also being aggravated by its increasing population and thriving tourism activities.

For the state-run subsidiary, it sees the processing of solid wastes into energy generation as an opportunity, thus, it was prompted to pursue this tie-up with Baguio City.

PNOC-RC President John J. Arenas noted that there are existing waste-to-energy technologies abroad that can be deployed, but may yet reach commercial installation in the Philippines.

With the planned venture, Arenas had given word that “the government will make sure that it will consider the welfare of the society and the environment,” so that civil society opposition could be avoided.

Arenas said the project will also generate renewable energy from a local source, hence, “security and sustainability of energy supply can be assured.”

He qualified that PNOC-EC supports the Department of Energy’s bid to harness the potential of waste-to-energy “as one of the solutions for solid waste problem,” although he acknowledged that there are still some limitations in pursuing such ventures.

For Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, he asserted that this partnership with PNOC-RC will help “address one of our basic concerns not only in the city of Baguio but including La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, and Tublay.”

While there had been no investment scale and capacity targeted yet for the planned facility, the city mayor expressed his locality’s hope on the project’s concretization, “so other local government units can use this as a model and replicate the same in their respective areas.”