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Anticoal group says Duterte sending wrong message on power

/ 04:10 AM September 26, 2016

ANTICOAL plant activists said President Duterte’s presence at the recent inauguration of a coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental gave the “wrong signal” to the power industry.

The group Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham) said the President wrongly projected coal power as solution to the Mindanao power crisis, debunking industry claims of using “clean coal” technology to mitigate pollution.

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“Coal should not be promoted as the answer to power shortages and high electricity rates due to its negative impact, leaving us with excessive carbon emissions, dirty air and polluted lands and rivers,” Agham secretary general Finesa Cosico said.

Cosico said coal-fed power plants increased the country’s dependence on outside sources for coal.

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The President inaugurated the Filinvest Development Corp. Misamis Power Corp. (FDC Misamis) 405-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, on Thursday.

The facility was built to address the Mindanao power crisis and reduce the hydropower-dependent region’s susceptibility to power shortages due to drought.

FDC Misamis said that while its power plant burns coal, it has employed the latest in clean generation called circulating fluidized bed boiler (CFB) technology.

Cosico, however, shot down the “myth of producing clean coal.”

She said CFB enables coal plants to burn low-grade coal, which is abundant in the country. But this contains large amounts of moisture and less energy, generating more pollution than foreign high-grade coal, she said.

“Using CFB and other ‘state-of-the-art’ machinery only means that we are strengthening our country’s reliance on foreign technology despite their unreliability,” Cosico said.

She said the Davao Therma South power station owned by Aboitiz Power also uses CFB technology but experienced at least five shutdowns since it started operating in January 2016.

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“We reiterate that we should be wary of using pollutive energy sources such as coal. We should immediately make use of our enormous indigenous and renewable energy resources,” Cosico said.

During the power plant inauguration, the President accused industrialized countries of “hypocrisy” for demanding that developing nations like the Philippines limit their use of so-called dirty fuel to mitigate climate change.

TOPICS: Agham, Anticoal group, Duterte, Power
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