15MW energy project to help Baguio City on waste management

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BAGUIO CITY – A PHP3 billion (USD55 million) 15-megawatt (MW) waste-to-energy project in Sablan, Benguet aims to help this city lower waste management cost.
In a briefing here Wednesday night, Robert John Sobrepeña, board chair of publicly listed Metro Global Holdings, said the green energy project will help the local government lower its PHP200 million average monthly waste management expenses.
“Baguio no longer has to bring the garbage to Tarlac. We will feed it (the garbage) to run the turbines that will produce power,” he said.
The General Services Office earlier said the city produces an average of 500 metric tons of garbage daily, although around 65 of the wastes are recyclables and biodegradable.
It said the garbage is hauled to a private engineered sanitary landfill in Capaz, Tarlac at PHP2,200 per ton.
Sobrepeña said they have signed a memorandum of agreement with officials of Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay for the energy project on 7.8-hectare property at the boundary of the municipalities of Sablan in Benguet and Burgos in La Union.
“We have been conducting several dialogues with the community that will host the project, explaining to them about the project and assuring them that there will be no accumulation of garbage in the process of producing energy,” he said.
Sobrepeña said the project will still undergo the Free Prior and Informed Consent process as mandated by the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
He hopes to have the initial permit after the Holy Week and commence with the project before the end of the year.
The infrastructure component of the project is expected to be completed in two to three years.
Sobrepeña said the company will collect the garbage at no expense to the local governments.
He said Baguio City officials also indicated willingness to invest in the project. **Liza Agoot


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