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US firm proposes USD1.2-B waste-to-energy facility in Lapu-Lapu City

CEBU CITY, June 27 – A US-based firm has proposed to invest up to a maximum of USD1.2 billion in Lapu-Lapu City for a solid waste processing and recycling plant that would also generate power.

Michael Jimenez, president of Zehira USA, said his firm will use a technology that was developed by German company Herhof GmbH.

He said the technology is a “one-stop-shop” that can process all types of wastes from hospitals, mines and households, among others, using the concept of mechanical biological treatment (MRT).

He said that it will take 18 months to construct the facility. Construction can begin after Zehira complies with all government requirements.

He said Herhof’s technology is the best alternative to landfills and dumpsites.

Jimenez said the facility that will be built on the first phase of the project would be able to accommodate up to 250 tons of wastes a day.

The second phase will increase the capacity to a thousand tons of wastes a day, the minimum volume for the facility to generate energy, he added.

Roderico Taga-an of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office said Lapu-Lapu City generates about 70 tons of garbage a day, excluding wastes from the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ).

”Our solid wastes would reach up to 150 tons if there is no segregation and composting at the barangay level, and if residual wastes from private haulers are not accepted,” Taga-an said.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said the local government has identified a four-hectare lot in sitio Soong, Barangay Mactan for the waste treatment plant.

The city’s material recovery facility (MRF) is also located in the area.

Radaza said the City Government can expand the site by five hectares for the Zehira project.

The mayor said she signed a joint venture agreement with Zehira in February 2011 to disprove the claim of her critics that she cannot address the city’s solid waste disposal problem.

Jimenez said Zehira chose Lapu-Lapu City because it is a hub of different economic activities.

Radaza said the dump site and the MRF in sitio Soong will be closed once the Zehira waste facility becomes operational.

But Jimenez said the closure will be gradual, as the MRF seems to be successful and complies with Republic Act 9003.

He assured that the future facility will not emit foul odor or toxic fumes.

He said a similar plant is even located near a residential area in Venedig, Italy. (PNA) LAP/EB/re

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