MANILA, PHILIPPINES—As the country faces a deepening waste management crisis, Metro Clark Waste Management Corp (MCWM), the country’s leading waste management company, looks forward to breaking ground on a pioneering waste-to-energy (WTE) project. The first of its kind in the Philippines, the Secondary Fuel Power Plant is part of an integrated waste management system that will help to address the severe shortage in waste disposal capacity in Central Luzon.
The project is a 50/50 joint venture between Metro Clark and Plambeck-Emirates Global Renewable Energy LLC, a partnership between a German technology firm and the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. The consortium has more than fifty years of combined experience in all aspects of waste management, spanning both developed and developing markets across the globe, and will also provide the funding for the entire $200-million project cost. The WTE project will be built on Metro Clark’s existing 100-hectare site located in the Clark Special Economic Zone in Central Luzon, under the jurisdiction of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA). The system will serve the entire Region 3, providing municipal solid waste transfer, treatment, and disposal services to LGU’s and industrial clients in the entire area, as well as producing up to 35-megawatts of power that can be fed back into the region’s distribution grid.
“There are many aspects to proper waste management, such as how to properly treat hazardous waste, how to transport it economically, and how to dispose of it while ensuring full compliance with the environmental guidelines laid out in RA 9003, or the Philippines Solid Waste Management Act,” said Vicky Gaetos, MCWM’s Executive Vice President and General Manager. “But the most pressing waste management issue we face as a country is the severe shortage in landfill capacity. In other words, ‘walang mapagtapunan ng basura,’ and because landfills only make economic sense if they are very large, establishing new landfills is very difficult,” continues Gaetos.
With Metro Clark’s planned system in place, up to 70% of waste that would find its way into the landfill, would be used as fuel for the WTE plant. The reduction in waste going into the landfill will expand the lifespan of Metro Clark’s 20-million-tons waste facility for at least another 50 years. “Waste reduction through these means has been proven an effective waste management strategy all around the world, and our partners have been involved in many such projects in other countries,” says Holger Holst, MCWM’s Chairman and Technical Director for Technology.
Recently, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senator Win Gatchalian have urged the Senate to pass the bill that will facilitate the use of WTE in solving the continuing growing problem of waste management in the country. Gatchalian has of course assured the public that any adoption of such technology will require all WTE facilities to strictly comply with environmental laws.
“We are excited and encouraged that our leaders see the wisdom in WTE as a key component of a complete waste management strategy,” said Holst. “Metro Clark believes that the WTE plant is the most effective way to efficient and sustainable waste management for Central Luzon, and we look forward to working with BCDA to evaluate and consider our WTE proposal,” concluded Holst.