Cebu City

Cebu City Mayor Rama signs joint venture deal for waste-to-energy facility

John Sitchon
Cebu City Mayor Rama signs joint venture deal for waste-to-energy facility

WASTE TO ENERGY. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama (center-left) holds the signed joint venture agreement with New Sky Philippines project manager Baoguang Huai Lo (center-right).

John Sitchon

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera says NSEI’s P4.8-billion project would provide electricity for 40,000 households, and give the city P24 million per year in gross power sales revenues

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with New Sky Energy Inc. (NSEI) for a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility on Thursday, September 22.

Based on the JVA, NSEI will be shelling out P4.8 billion for the construction of a six-hectare WTE facility in Cebu City. The company will operate the facility for 40 years before handing it over to the city.

“We are still looking at different lots at different areas [for the facility],” Razilee Ligaray, legal counsel of New Sky Energy Incorporated said in a press conference on Thursday, September 22.

According to Ligaray, NSEI will have one year from the signing of the JVA to find a lot and secure the required permits to mobilize the facility. 

After that, construction should be completed in  two years.

The city will use NSEI’s facility to dispose of its garbage for a tipping fee of P1,000 per ton in the first three years of operation, P1,150 per ton from the fourth to sixth year, and P1,300 per ton from the seventh to the ninth year.

Swiss challenge

Allan Crisologo, president of NSEI submitted the proposal for the WTE facility in September 2019.

The NSEI’s proposal underwent multiple reviews from the joint venture selection committee (JVSC).

After the city council passed a resolution allowing Rama to sign the JVA, the local government in April 2022 opened the doors to a Swiss challenge.

A Swiss challenge allows third-party companies to send their own proposals. 

Twor companies tried to challenge NSEI’s proposal but failed to meet the requirements, Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera told reporters.

The city councilor said NSEI’s proposal would provide electricity for 40,000 households, and provide the city an estimated P24 million per year in gross power sales revenues.

“Once this is operational, they are not exclusive for Cebu City and the facility will also accept waste from other LGUs of which the city has a 5% share in tipping fees,” Garganera said.

Environmental concerns

In March, environmentalists urged the mayor to reconsider signing the agreement for the WTE facility, labeling it as “a highly problematic solid waste management system” that could increase the city’s generation of trash.

“Singapore has five WTEs, Japan has a thousand WTE facilities. Are we trying to say that they are also polluting their own country by using these WTEs?” Garganera countered at the press conference.

Garganera, who heads the city council’s committee on environment, argued that open dumpsites and landfills had a worse effect on the environment compared to WTEs.

Currently, the city disposes of a total of 600 tons of garbage daily in landfills. 

“The plant can accommodate up to 800 tons of garbage and there is no minimum requirement from the city as to the number of garbage to be deposited,” Garganera said.

The councilor added that the local government would actively implement recycling and proper waste management solutions in the city.

Ligaray also told reporters that the company’s technology passed eco-friendly standards in an environmental technology verification (ETV) report by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). 

Based on the ETV report, New Sky’s WTE Technology can achieve a waste volume reduction rate of 91.48%.

“The gas emission monitoring conducted shows that the parameters monitored are within the standard limits set by RA 8740 or the Philippine Clean Air Act,” read the ETV report. –Rappler.com

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