TO BUILD OR NOT TO BUILD?
By: Krystel Shayne Lantano
The proposed building of coal-fired power plant in Aborlan, Palawan has swiftly been a controversy. Environmental organizations and the residents of Aborlan have strongly opposed the said proposal. Why? What makes them oppose such power plant? But first of all, what is coal? Coal, which is the most abundant fossil fuel, is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. Coal-fired power plant converts heat energy of combustion into mechanical energy which then operates an electrical generator through some rotating machineries. The 15-megawatt plant is to be built by DMCI Powers to supply the main power grid of mainland Palawan under a 15-year power-supply agreement with the local distribution cooperative, the Palawan Electric Cooperative. Under its contract, DMCI is seeking to construct two coal-fired powered plants that will generate a total of 25 megawatts of electricity and will be fed by the company’s own Semirara coal from the province of Antique. The said plant was intended to be built in the municipality of Narra, but faced such strong local opposition that the developer was not able to get the local LGU endorsement needed to continue. The price of electricity for the proposed coal power plant has also been questioned by local Palawan NGOs as the price will be much higher than indigenous, cleaner renewable energy projects. The proposed coal plant will sell electricity at a rate of Php 9.38/kwh. With VAT, that rate would rise to Php 10.51/kwh. They should not, or I must probably say, they must not build the coal-fired power plant. Coal-fired power plant kills. It kills the air we breathe that would certainly end up killing us, humans as well as the animals and plants. Coal plants are the nation’s top source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the primary cause of global warming. A typical coal plant...
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