Zoning board gives favorable response to proposed Ludo power plant project
AFTER being rejected by the Cebu City Council last year, a proposed 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant project had been revived after it received a favorable response from the Cebu City Zoning Board.
In a resolution they approved last week, the board said they are “not adverse” in allowing construction and operation of a coal plant project of Ludo Power Corp. in the heavily populated barangay of Sawang Calero.
“The Zoning Board, in its initial discussion is not adverse to granting a variance to the Ludo and Luym Power Plant from Industrial I to Industrial II, subject to existing Zoning and other City Ordinance, rules and regulations,” read the board’s resolution.
The resolution will be referred to the Cebu City Council, which earlier asked the zoning board to comment on Ludo’s request to
allow them to build a power plant in the area sometime late last year.
Cebu City Councilor Jose Daluz III, a member of the zoning board, said they took consideration on the benefits of the proposed project in allowing it to have a variance permit.
“The project is expected to generate 1,000 jobs and 20 percent of that is mandated by law to come from the barangay. Lisod kaayo balibaran (It is difficult to refuse),” he told reporters.
He said the zoning board’s endorsement is just one of the many requirements that Ludo needs to comply with in order to secure approval for the project.
Daluz said the actual zoning variance needs to be approved by the council first.
This will then be used by Ludo to apply for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In April last year, the City Council rejected Ludo’s power plant proposal by pointing to City Ordinance No. 1656 or the city’s 1996 Revised Zoning Ordinance.
The ordinance allows power plants only in medium or high intensity industrial (I-2) districts. The proposed plant site belongs to a low intensity (I-1) district.
Daluz said granting a variance for Ludo’s project will allow them to push for the project despite this prohibition.
The council is expected to tackle the zoning board’s endorsement during their regular session tomorrow.
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera said he wants a dialogue with stakeholders on the project.
Garganera, who heads the council’s committees on environment and energy, said he met with officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) on Ludo’s proposal last week.
He said he was advised by the officials that a clear public hearing must be conducted by the proponent of the project.
Garganera said this means inviting national agencies like DOE, the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau and the Department of Health (DOH) among others, including residents and environmental groups.
“For me, I’d like to listen to all sides. I keep my mind open but I’m listening to all. So that all questions will be addressed, all the agencies concerned should be there during that public hearing,” he said.
Garganera said he will also be meeting with environmental groups and those opposing coal-fired power plants.
But he cited Cebu’s growing power demand and said coal plants have been existing in countries like Australia which sources 90 percent of its power from coal plants.
Central Visayas, he said, needs 1,800 megawatts of power.
Garganera said 900 megawatts is being consumed by Cebu Island alone.
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