Cebu City admits delays in WTE project

The local government of Cebu City on Sunday disclosed that it is encountering delays on the P4.8-billion waste-to-energy facility after more than a year of greenlighting the specific project in the city.

To recall, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed the joint venture agreement with New Sky Energy Philippines Inc. on 22 September 2022 but City Council Environment Committee chair and North District City Councilor Joel Garganera revealed to DAILY TRIBUNE that New Sky Energy’s challenge is to get permits since it will not only be dealing with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources but also with the Department of Energy.

However, he clarified that New Sky Energy already found a site to build the facility and was given the greenlight by the Solid Waste Management Board to proceed in acquiring the permits.

New Sky Energy, in a letter to Rama dated 4 September 2023, wrote that the team encountered unanticipated challenges in the pre-construction stage which resulted in the need to recalibrate the original timeline.

“The in-depth planning, rigorous compliance with legal and environmental standards, and coordination with various stakeholders involved in the project have been proven to be more time-consuming than initially projected. These unforeseen challenges have inevitably impacted our ability to adhere to the original schedule,” a portion of the letter said.

In the JVA, New Sky Energy had one year to acquire the land and secure all the permits for the project. The company would then spend another two years on construction, thus making the WTE facility operational in 2025.

The facility can accommodate 800 tons of garbage per day and use it to generate electricity for 40,000 households.

Garganera reiterated that the WTE facility  can help reduce the volume of garbage in the city as the facility will burn the collected garbage to produce pressurized steam that will be used to power electric generators.

The city will pay the company tipping fee of P1,000 per ton of waste in the first three years of operation; P1,150 per ton from the fourth to the sixth year; and P1,300 per ton from the seventh to the ninth year.

Meantime, City Administrator Collin Rosell said that the local government could earn up to P24 million annually as its share of the proceeds from the electrical power that would be generated.

New Sky Energy Inc. had three to four WTEs in Bangkok, Thailand and around 30 in China.

Garganera said the Department of Science and Technology conducted a test in Bangkok WTE facility and it passed all environmental requirements.


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