Bataan to build $200-M waste-converting plant

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ORION, Bataan: In the Hollywood hit movie “Back to the Future,” leading man Michael J. Fox’s time-traveling DeLorean is powered by garbage.

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That dream will soon be a reality, thanks to a Korean firm which is building a $200 million facility  capable of turning wastes like plastic into power pellets.

The power pellets will be as big as an ordinary hotdog but they will be used as fuel to operate a power plant.

Philippine Recycle Green Energy Inc. president Harold Jun and vice president Victor Lee presented their proposal to Orion Mayor Antonio Raymundo in a meeting on Tuesday.

Incidentally, Raymundo together with Bataan Gov. Albert Raymond Garcia and some municipal executives were invited by Jun and Lee to Korea to inspect various facilities that make use of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) and refuse plastic fuel (RPF) technologies.

RDF is made from combustible components of municipal solid waste. Instead of being thrown away, the waste is shredded, dried, baled and burned to produce electricity.

In RPF, plastics are shredded and heated in an oxygen-free chamber. As the plastics boil, the gas is separated and reused to fuel the machine itself. Since plastic is melted not burned, there are few or no toxic substances released in the air. This helps recycle plastic waste and keeps them out of landfills and oceans.

The Orion mayor was impressed and Garcia has already signed a memorandum of agreement with the Koreans to start the project.

Lee said the technology they will use in the Philippine plant will not contribute to pollution and will not smell bad at all.

“The facilities we will build in a 11-hectare land in Orion using the RDF and RPF technologies will be the first and biggest outside Korea,” he said.

The mayor said qualified Orion residents would be given priority in constructing and operating the plant.

Lee said the provincial government is ready to deliver 1,000 tons of waste equivalent to 500 tons of RDF daily to the plant. The garbage will come from 11 towns and one city in Bataan.

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