Aboitiz to introduce cleanergy in Davao

Subscribe Now May 04, 2011 at 09:12am

Over the weekend, our group, the EasyRiders Club took the Cebu Ferries from Cebu to Nasipit, then rode the 278-kms Pan Philippine Highway to Davao City to attend the 17th Annual Convention of the Federation of Motorcycle Clubs in the Philippines, hosted by the On Any Sunday Riders Club of Davao. I haven’t passed this road for more than 20 years because it was always in a state of disrepair. But we were told that the road has already been fixed and indeed it was a very pleasant ride from Butuan City to Davao.

The Big Bike Convention has truly changed in 17 years… there are just too many big bikes around, to think not all the big bikers from Luzon rode their bikes so far away. But attendance was still very high, which only goes to show that there are just a lot of big bikers from the Visayas and Mindanao. Add Luzon to the equation and pretty soon, we might be entitled to a Party-list representation in Congress!

I attended the club presidents’ meeting last Saturday afternoon in Eden Nature’s Park and chairman emeritus Manolete Lamata asked me to explain to the club presidents about the problems we might encounter in the near future if the Anti-Carnapping (ANCAR) is resurrected by the P-Noy administration. No doubt, the people from the Visayas and Mindanao will be the most affected by this stupidity where your vehicles are considered stolen until you prove to the police that it is not, even if there was no alarm for it. Hence a unanimous resolution approved by the federation presidents has asked P-Noy not to return the ANCAR permit. Let’s hope that the President listens to bikers.

Having attended all but one Big Bike convention, this time I didn’t join the fun ride last Saturday and instead, I joined a group that went off to Sibulan to see the 42.5 MW mini-hydro power plant operated by Hedcor-Sibulan, Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. (APC). Call it a coincidence that APC was headlined in Business Section of The Philippine STAR last Saturday that reported that APC was prepared to construct a P25-billion 300MW circulating fluidized-bed coal-fired power plant in Southern Davao and that Aboitiz Power wants to fast track this project because of the huge demand for power in Mindanao.

To us Cebuanos, this 300MW coal-fired power plant is known to us as “Cleanergy” or a “Clean Coal” technology that Global Power Corp. and the Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) built in Sangi, Toledo City Cebu. This “Cleanergy” was developed by their partners Formosa Power, which operates clean coal-fired plants in Taiwan. A couple of years ago, the Cebu media flew to Taiwan to see how this technology works and everyone came home convinced that coal plants can be cleaned. Formosa Power was so confident with this technology, they put their power plant right beside a huge shopping mall.

There is no question that Mindanao needed a brand new power plant yesterday and thanks to the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, all bets are off in getting nuclear power into this country. Hence we’re left with no choice but use coal, but with the new “Cleanergy” technology or mini-hydros like the Sibulan plant.

I haven’t been back to Davao City in 10 years and I can say that business in Davao is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact last Saturday, just across the Apo View Hotel where we stayed, they just inaugurated a Ducati and KTM motorcycle dealership. Wow! We don’t even have one such dealership in Cebu City!

We spent the whole morning driving deep into the foothills of Mt. Talomo to see the Hedcor-Sibulan Mini-Hydro. But Hedcor-Sibulan, Inc. vice-president Gregorio “Boy” Jabonillo showed us Headpond B, which is a 1.4 hectare water impounding area, which gets piped from Headpond A, a bigger water impounding area that can hold 90,000 cubic meters. This water comes from the Sibulan River.

From Headpond A (it is 15 kilometers deep into the forest) it is then fed into the 16.5MW Plant A. The excess water is then piped into Headpond B and piped into the 26MW Plant B. All in all, producing a total of 42.5 MW of power that power hungry Davao direly needs. How all this works was explained to us very well by Engr. Jocip Ebarle, maintenance manager and Michael Quidayan, operations manager.

Roberto “Bobby” Aboitiz told me that mini-hydros for Mindanao was the dream of the late Engr. Ernesto “Ernie” Aboitiz when he was chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MDA). Unfortunately, Ernie Aboitiz died a year ago, but this was one Aboitiz Power project that they totally conceptualized, researched and developed on their own.

Source: philstar.com

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