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Subic coal plant passed gov’t review, says proponent
The consortium that would build a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Subic Bay Freeport said the project had been vetted by regulators and government environmental agencies, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Jan. 25.
Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy) said it had secured “all necessary regulatory approvals and permits from concerned government agencies, including a permit from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) after a thorough due diligence and a stringent review process.”
The firm was referring to a height clearance permit CAAP issued which allowed RP Energy to put up a 144-meter dual smokestack for the power plant on top of a 10.68-meter elevated area.
On Tuesday, Subic environmentalists filed a new petition in the Court of Appeals seeking to stop the project due to its potential impact on the health of residents.
RP Energy is composed of the Manila Electric Co., the Aboitiz Group of Companies and Taiwan Cogen Inc. It has a 50-year lease development agreement with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for the use of 38 hectares of land in the free port.
“RP Energy reassures our stakeholders that the company will continuously uphold the highest standards of safety, health and environment throughout the course of project development, construction and eventual operations,” the consortium said.
Members of environmental groups from Zambales province and residents of Olongapo City on Tuesday staged a “solidarity walk” in Manila before the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber for Health and Environment Conservation filed a petition against RP Energy, CAAP, and the Department of Transportation.
The petitioners asked the appeals court to issue a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the construction and cancel RP Energy’s height clearance permit.