The use of clean coal technology in food manufacturing will help keep food prices low.
This according to the Industrial Group of Zamboanga Inc. (IGZI), an association of canning plants and other industrial companies in Zamboanga.
According to the group, the usage of clean coal technology by food manufacturers is different from that of power plants, with the former consuming at least “10 times lower” the amount of coal used by the latter. .
“[Coal] is not only economical. It is also benefiting because they use coal to produce heat for the pressure to run the machineries and produce steam. Now, where is the pollution aspect there? Very little because a plant, let’s say, operates in two shifts in 16 hours a day so the burning of coal is very minimal,” IGZI Executive Director Roberto Valerio said.
He also urged the public to recognize the difference between the environmental impact of coal-using food production plants versus coal-fired power plants.
Amid rising fuel prices and the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, Valerio said coal is a cheaper fuel source that helps prevent the price of sardines from spiking out of proportion.
He said canning and oil milling industries in Zamboanga and other regions of the country have shifted about 10 years ago to coal from bunker fuel to fire up their boilers. Food-manufacturing plants have also adopted technologies to ensure clean emission in using coal.
Presently, industrial companies utilize Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) methods to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of coal-using plants.
Valerio’s statement follows protests against the construction of coal-fired power plants (CFPP) in the country.
This month, residents of Atimonan, Quezon rallied in opposition of two 600-megawatt (MW) CFPP’s to be built in Atimonan by a subsidiary of the Meralco PowerGen Corp. A separate protest was also held to resist a 670-MW CFPP to be constructed in Luna, La Union by Global Luzon Energy Development Corp.
However, coal remains an important player in the energy mix as the most affordable and accessible energy source, prompting IGZI and other groups to advocate for its cleanest possible utilization.