$1.2-Billion Waste-To-Energy Facility To Rise In Cebu

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu - To rehabilitate the existing dump site area and eliminate the danger of wastes to health and environment, Zehira USA is set to construct a $1.2-billion waste-to-energy facility in this city.

The company will utilize the Herhof technology, a German-based technology, in its task of solving Cebu City's massive garbage problem.

Said technology serves as a one-stop shop for recycling, composting and converting toxic, mining industrial and other residual wastes into pellets of energy that will be sold to cement factories and coal power plants.

The waste pellets to be produced, he added, are considered to have the lowest emission among other fossil energy resources. The brown coal used by most power plants, on the other hand, has the highest emission.

Michael Jimenez, president of Zehira USA, said the project, which will be constructed on a four-hectare site in Sitio Soong, Brgy. Mactan, will use the same technology that has been used for over 20 years in Europe and established in more than 50 existing and operational plants, most of which are based in Germany.

The plant to be built, he said, will have a capacity of 350 tons of waste per day turning unsegregated garbage into gas with zero emission.

In Lapu-Lapu, 70 tons of wastes are collected every day and of these 70 tons, at least 12-15 megawatts of power could be generated.

Meanwhile, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, who said the project site can be expanded up to five hectares for the project, informed that she had signed a joint venture agreement with Zehira last February 2011 to dispel criticism that she cannot effectively solve the city's solid waste displosal.

Jimenez said Zehira chose Lapu-Lapu City because it is a hub for various economic activities.

Radaza said the existing dumpsite and material recovery facility (MRF) in Sitio Soong will be closed once the Zehira waste facility becomes operational.

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

He also made assurances that the future facility will not be emitting any foul odor or toxic fumes.

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