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Palawan biodigester to produce clean energy for electric jeeps

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan - Puerto Princesa held groundbreaking ceremonies for a pioneering biodigester facility that can provide electricity for the city’s public transport fleet as well as its other energy requirements. Worth $2.4 million, the facility – which produces power from waste – can generate up to a megawatt (mW) of power, the Philippine-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC) said in a statement. Based on a build-operate-transfer scheme, the biodigester will promote the decomposition of the city's biowaste, feeding methane to a gas turbine that will power zero emission eJeepneys, and eTrikes, the institute added. The project will create what the iCSC calls “a complete green circle," since “biodegradable waste streams from wet markets, food establishments and the city slaughterhouse are rerouted towards the biodigester." Located in Barangay Sta. Lourdes – also the site of the city’s sanitary landfill – the biodigester can initially produce 350 kilowatts of electricity, based on a daily collection of 21 tons of organic waste. The project’s second phase includes efforts to increase electricity generation up to one mW. The city is currently considering local bank and financing options for a multi-stage replacement of its fossil-fueled public transport vehicles, including around 4,000 polluting tricycles. "Local governments are taking action despite the failure of the Copenhagen climate talks. We applaud Puerto Princesa's leadership for demonstrating the kind of determination necessary to make the climate solutions of tomorrow available to Filipinos today," Red Constantino, iCSC director, said in the same statement. The project will also help the city “consider more sustainable industrial development," Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn said. "Today, we can plan the further growth of commerce, such as an increase in hog farms which before we had to limit because of the city's limited waste absorption capacity." The iCSC, a climate policy think tank and developer of community and city-based renewable energy solutions, pioneered the implementation of eJeepneys in Makati City, the Philippines’ financial district. It is set to introduce a third Green Route in the Rockwell district in Makati together with a biodigester complement. The iCSC is supported by by the Netherlands-based Doen Foundation. - RJAB Jr., GMANews.TV