The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), its member Nuclear Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) and the people of Limay, Bataan told SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. to stop avoiding the real issue and refrain from misleading the people in what is actually happening in the ground.

Ramon Ang, president and COO for San Miguel Corporation released a statement yesterday saying that they are using the Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology which makes their coal-fired power plant emit sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide carbon monoxide and particulate matter lower than the current standard set by DENR and World Bank.

PMCJ maintains that while it is possible for CFB technology to lessen the emissions, it seems that the real issue of bottom ash is deliberately avoided. While it is true that coal plant that uses CFB technology emits the above mentioned emissions lower than the prevailing standards it does not address the production of bottom ash.

The real issue behind is the huge pile of bottom ash that the 140 MW coal plant of Petron dumps in the designated temporary ash pond of San Miguel, the very same area where the 300 MW coal plant own by San Miguel currently conducting its test run dump their bottom ash. It is this huge accumulation of bottom ash allegedly resulted to rise in respiratory related diseases and skin diseases as well.

Coal plant which utilizes CFB technology produces more coal ash than conventional ones, since it add limestone to pulverize coal during combustion process. Both the 140 MW and the 300 MW employs the CFB technology hence resulted to a huge pile up of bottom ash near the area where the community lives.

Hence we strongly call on SMC to face the music and stop beating around the bush, the real problem is your bottom ash and the question of the legality of your ash pond, so long as it is not properly address the sufferings of the people continues. And the only way to comprehensively address it is to stop the operation of both coal plants since as long as they continue to operate there will be accumulation of bottom ash.

Our demand is for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to immediately order a shut down the coal plants operation, indemnify the affected community, suspend incompetent regional DENR officers and include both coal plants as priority in the ECC audit to be conducted by the Department. (PMCJ)


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