Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Aboitiz bent on building coal-powered plant in Davao City

Fresh from the development of the Sibulan Hydropower Plant in Davao del Sur, Aboitiz Power is now bent on developing another source of energy for Mindanao but this time it has set its eyes on the development of a non-renewable source namely a coal powered plant right in Davao City.

Aboitiz Power called for a press conference yesterday to announce its plan to establish a coal-powered plant in the city. Earlier, its executives met with Davao City mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and members of the City Council to get their pulse on the proposed coal-powered plant. They also met with members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Inc. yesterday evening.

The proposed coal-powered plant, with an estimated cost of $400 million, is expected to bring in lots of investments and employment opportunities for the city, not to mention up to 200MW of power.

However, coal mines, from where the coals used to power the plants come from, are known to be the largest contributor to global warming and to climate change problems due to the mine's high emission of methane, carbon dioxide and other waste products including thorium, radioactive contaminants and uranium.

Coal mines are said to result to groundwater interference and water table levels and have high impact on the flow of water in rivers. Aboitiz is looking at Indonesia as its source of coal.

The combustion of coal, is seen as a large contributor to air pollution and acid rain. Erramon Aboitiz however admitted that coal-powered plants have earned a negative reputation in the 1930s but coal-powered plants now use more modern technologies and coal generation has become greener.

Coal-powered plants are however still know to produce emissions of sulfur dioxides, nitrogen and carbon dioxides in the air, thereby contributing to global warming and climate change.

For a city blessed with one of the cleanest waters in the world, having a coal-powered plant right on top of its aquifers can spell nightmare not only for Dabawenyos but for the whole world. But then again, it is still a question of priorities---power or environment.

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