SRPI assures of safety measures in coal plant PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 September 2011 17:31

The San Ramon Power Inc, (SRPI) has assured that its coal-fired power plant, once in operation, will adopt safety measures that will not affect the environment in Zamboanga City.

n a press statement, SRPI reacted to the concern aired by Cholo Soliven, president of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ZCCIFI), regarding the apprehension expressed by Sophil Deep Sea Fishing Association Inc. (SOPHIL) on the plant’s use of seawater for its cooling process.

SOPHIL had earlier said that SRPI’s coal fired plant will be using a large volume of sea water to cool its boilers which might affect the spawning of different species of fish and its habitat.

”We would like to categorically state that volume of water drawn from the sea will be returned to the sea after it has gone through the cooling process. Throughout the cooling process sea water will pass only through intake pipes, a condenser, and a cooling pond, before being returned to the sea. At no point in the process will sea water come into contact with coal. Any differences in temperature between sea water extracted and the sea water returned will be minimal and will have no adverse effects on marine life,” explained SRPI.

The press statemtent said that There are numerous plants that use the same system of sea water cooling including the Pagbilao Power Plant in Quezon Province.
The Pagbilao Plant  which has been in operation for nearly 15 years and the sea around the plant continues to thrive with marine life and a healthy underwater ecosystem.

On another concern aired by Soliven, regarding the use of water, SRPI clarified that its coal-fired plant will not use ground water, but surface water from the mouth of Saaz River, utilizing 1% of the rivel’s total volume.

Soliven had said that the use of ground water is  is one of the reasons why Davao officials have second thoughts of putting up a coal plant in their city.

“While the issue in Davao also concerns water use, there are substantial differences. The concern with the Aboitiz Davao plant is about the use of ground water for its plant operations. Our San Ramon plant will not use ground water but surface water from the mouth of the Saaz River (utilizing less than 1% of the river’s total volume) for plant operations. The San Ramon plant will tap the river water right at the point where the river water flows into the sea. Thus, the plant will not be taking water away from farmers or other users who are all located upstream of the tapping point,” the SRPI press statement said.

With regards to the power sources cited by Soliven when he stated “whether it’s hydro, solar, wind or coal as long as it will help mitigate the power-lack of the city in the coming years..”, SRPI pointed out that compared to all other sources, coal is the most viable and affordable source for Zamboanga City at this time.

“Hydro, geothermal, natural gas, and wind sources are not available in quantities sufficient to meet the demands of Zamboanga City. Even proponents of solar energy admit that it is an extremely expensive power source. This leaves us with oil or coal. Coal is more abundant and four times cheaper than coal,” SRPI said.

As to the rate SRPI will charge the local consumers, it will be cheaper than that being sold by Panay Power Plant, contrary to what Soliven had said that SRPI “has doubled its price on the construction of the coal plant compared to the coal plant in Iloilo which is very cheap.”

“We would like to point out that at today’s coal prices the Panay Power Plant would be charging close to P7.30 per Kilowatt hour.  A more accurate comparison would be with the Sarangani Energy Company, Inc. (SECI) plant – which, like the San Ramon plant, was developed by Conal Holdings Corporation, and is very similar in design to the San Ramon plant. The SECI plant will be charging less than PHP 6.00 per Kilowatt hour,” SRPI said.

The company said the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-EMB) is currently conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the San Ramon Project together with an independent panel of experts.  Several members of the chamber, it said, have attended the public scoping forum last July 21.

Another public consultation forum has been scheduled by SRPI today at the Zamboanga Ecozone from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.