P50 million waste to energy plant to rise in Benguet town

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – An Australian-based power corporation wants to put up a P50 million waste-to-energy plant in this capital town to help solve the worsening solid waste disposal problem of the municipal government, Mayor Edna C. Tabanda said here.

Tabanda said experts from the G-20 Company based in Australia will put up the customized waste-to-energy plant within the 2-hectare waste disposal area of the municipality in barangay Alno for free in order to help the local government realize lasting and sustainable solutions to the town’s garbage disposal problem.

“La Trinidad was chosen by the Asian Development Bank to be one of the pilot areas in the implementation of environmentally-friendly solid waste disposal technologies like waste-to-energy that is why we were able to get in touch with experts from the G-20 Company who were able to frequent the town and do researches regarding our waste disposal problem,” Tabanda stressed.

Under the proposed public-private partnership (PPP), G-20 Company will bring the waste-to-energy technology to the municipality at its own expense and will operate the power plant through joint venture agreement depending on what will be agreed upon by both parties with the local government getting a share from the revenue to be generated from the sale of renewable power to the grid or to the local power distribution cooperative.

Tabanda wants a sustainable solution to the capital town’s growing waste disposal problem so that it will subsequently stop the hauling of its generated waste to the sanitary landfill in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan which is eating up a big bulk of its budget.

“We do not want to repeat the problem we inherited from the previous administration that is why we are seriously considering the waste-to-energy proposal because it is advantageous to the municipality based on recent studies and validations,” Mayor Tabanda said.

She revealed at least 45 to 50 tons of waste is being generated by the town’s 16 barangays and most of which are hauled out from the municipality to the Urdaneta City sanitary landfill.

Councilor Henry Kipas said the municipal council never denied the proposed waste-to-energy project of the municipal government but what they were asking from the proponent was the submission of its company profile and other pertinent documents that will support its stature as a reputable waste-to-energy developer.

“We passed an earlier resolution signifying our intention to avail of the waste-to-energy project, thus, we are now in the stage of scrutinizing the credibility of the proponent to help the executive in assessing the company’s capability of doing the project on its own so that we will no longer encounter future problems once we give the go-signal for the project,” Kipas said.

Kipas said the municipal council will await the documents to be submitted by the G-20 Company to allow the council members to intelligently decide whether to pursue the renewable power project purposely to address the solid waste disposal concerns of the municipality.

Mayor Tabanda said she does not want to have the local government indebted by a wrong decision like what the previous administration has done with the controversial black holed technology project where its loan increased to approximately P30 million from a principal of P23 million without the town benefitting from its supposed full scale operation.

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