ILOILO CITY will seek the approval of its council for the P2.3-billion waste-to-energy (WTE) project proposed by a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) that is planned to power a desalination plant and help clear the city’s landfill, the local government’s chief said.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” P. Treñas said the proposal had gone through the city’s public-private partnership selection committee and is set to be submitted to the council on Nov. 3 for approval.

“The waste-to-energy [project] will be used to power the desalination plant, which is needed by the city,” Mr. Treñas said.

The WTE process harnesses heat by burning waste at increased temperatures. The generated heat is then used to make steam, which drives a turbine that creates electricity.

In June, the city government and MetroPac Water Investments Corp. (MPW), a wholly owned water infrastructure investments subsidiary of MPIC, signed a negotiated deal for the proposed Iloilo City Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility.

The proposed facility can process up to 470 tons of nonrecyclable wastes as potential fuel per day and produce around 2.4 megawatts of electricity.

MPW has a joint venture with Metro Iloilo Water District — the water distribution utility that provides water for the city and nearby municipalities — called Metro Pacific Iloilo Water, which is created for the operation, rehabilitation, and maintenance of water distribution and wastewater management facilities of the water district.

“Once operational, then we don’t have to develop another module for sanitary landfill. The last time the city constructed a module for sanitary landfill, the city spent, I think, P300 million,” Mr. Treñas said.

The Iloilo City mayor said the proposal started in 2019 but had been delayed due to a “long gestation” period.

“They have to talk to the supplier, see how it is being done in other countries. It is quite difficult because we’re the first in the country. So, after this maybe if this continues, after getting all the approval from all the national agencies, it may be faster next time,” Mr. Treñas said.

Mr. Treñas said the proposal must go through the council first for approval from different national government agencies before the permits to build the facility.

“All of these expenses, we save. We do not go to another sanitary landfill and in the waste-to-energy [project], the city will still have a share,” he said, adding that even if the share is little, “at least we do away from these big expenses.”

MPIC is one of the three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT Inc.

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