Berjaya in talks to build landfill in Cebu

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corp. Bhd is in talks to build a sanitary landfill in Cebu as part of an effort to export its environmental services and clean technology to the rest of Southeast Asia.

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Chock Eng Tah, managing director of KUB-Berjaya Enviro Sdn Bhd, said the Philippines could benefit from Malaysia’s private-sector developed landfill technology and move away from environmentally harmful open dumpsites such as Payatas in Quezon City.

“We want to see if there are opportunities for us in waste management,” Chock told visiting Filipino journalists.

KUB-Berjaya, a joint venture between the KUB and Berjaya groups, built a landfill for Guangdong, China in 2012 and is now eyeing Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, among others.

The proposed landfill in Cebu will be on a 106-hectare land identified by the local government of Naga City, said Peter Wong, KUB-Berjaya general manager.

Talks are still in the early stages but Naga City officials have been invited to visit the highly successful Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill in Selangor state, 50 kilometers outside Kuala Lumpur.

The 680-hectare Bukit Tagar landfill, which has been accepting household waste from Kuala Lumpur for a decade, boasts of an environmentally friendly leachate treatment system and a 6-megawatt power generation plant that runs on methane.

Chock said a landfill would require a long-term concession from the government, with the government owning the land and paying a “tipping fee.”

Bukit Tagar, whose capacity of 120 million metric tons can last up to 100 years, is under a 30-year concession.

The Kuala Lumpur city council pays a tipping fee of 49 ringgit (P588) per metric ton sent to Bukit Tagar, allowing KUB-Berjaya to recover its 250-million ringgit investment as well as pay for maintenance costs and salaries.

Chock also said a landfill could generate more revenue by putting up a biogas plant and supplying raw materials for cement.

Bukit Tagar is able to sell power to the Malaysian grid at a feed-in tariff of around P5.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), lower than the Philippines P6.63/kWh, Chock noted.

The Berjaya group has a diversified Philippine subsidiary, dealing in lottery equipment, hotels, quick-service restaurants (Papa John’s Pizza) and Mazda cars.

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