Cebu City, private firm ink deal for waste-to-energy project
CEBU CITY, Philippines — By 2025, a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility will rise and operate in Cebu City.
This was the target set after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) that the city entered into with the private entity New Sky Energy, Inc. for the Cebu City WTE project.
On the same day, Rama also signed the notice of award formalizing the awarding of the construction, development, and operation of a WTE facility to New Sky Energy (Philippines) Inc., represented by its project manager Baoguang Huai.
The signing of the JVA went forward despite requests to drop the WTE proposal from several organizations, most notably the Ecowaste Coalition, who claimed that a WTE facility in the city would only worsen the environment.
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, who also serves as chairman of the city’s Committee on Environment, guaranteed that the project would not put the city at a disadvantage in terms of health and the environment.
“They are welcome to exhaust also their belief and understanding of this particular technology, but I just would like to tell you that Singapore now has five WTEs, Japan has a thousand of waste to energy facility, so are we trying to say that they are also polluting their own country by the use of these WTEs?” he said.
“We already know for a fact that the environmental impact of open dump site, landfills is really worse. We assure them that their questions are being addressed,” he added.
Garganera was one of the eight councilors who gave Rama the authority, through a resolution passed last March 2022, to sign a joint venture with New Sky Energy, Inc. to construct the facility.
Lawyer Razilee Rae Ligaray, in-house counsel of the New Sky Energy, Inc., said that based on the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) report issued by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), New Sky technology was compliant with all the standards set by various laws, including the Philippine Clean Air Act, Philippine Clean Water Act, and RA 6969 or the “Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990.”
New Sky Energy, Inc. committed to invest P4.8 billion for the WTE project in the city.
The WTE facility will be constructed and operated by New Sky Energy, Inc. for 40 years under the terms of the JVA before being turned over to the local administration.
The would-be WTE plant can accommodate 800 tons of garbage daily. The city officials also clarified that there is no minimum in terms of the amount of garbage that the city should collect and deliver to the facility daily.
The city is to pay the company a tipping fee of P1,000 per ton of waste during the first three years of operation; P1,150 per ton during the next four to six years, and P1,300 per ton during the next seven to nine years.
In turn, Cebu City will receive a 3 percent share from gross power sales revenues, and another 5 percent of the revenues from sales of all other by-products.
Location and timeline
Ligaray told reporters, on Thursday, that they were still looking at various lot properties in various parts of the city where the WTE facility would be built.
Among the lots being considered are those located in barangays Agsungot, Guba, Pamutan, Toong, and Pardo.
Ligaray said they aimed to acquire the required 6-hectare lot, and process required permits and clearances within one year from the signing of the JVA
This will be followed by a two-year construction period, as they aimed to operate the facility by 2024.
Lawyer Collin Rosell, executive secretary, also said that the city would have a say on the finalization of the location of the WTE facility.
Under the signed JVA, the Cebu City WTE project consists of various assets, facilities, and equipment including moving grate incinerators, heat recovery boiler, turbine generator, flue gas purification system, and a WTE plant.
It was in September 2019 when the city and New Sky Energy, Inc. conducted negotiations. The two parties agreed to the terms and conditions of the joint venture in Aug. 31, 2021.
The city then published invitations for the submission of comparative proposals in March and April 2022.
However, the city did not receive any comparative proposals from other private sector proponents.
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