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Holcim: Co-processing with PEF saved 60,000 MT of wastes from going to landfills

May 25, 2019

Imported PEF from Oz conform with DENR AO on Alternative Fuels & Raw Mats for Cement Kilns Co-processing of plastic and other industrial and agricultural wastes actually helps ease the pressure on the environment, instead of further aggravating it. This is the gist of the statement posted on its website dated 23 May 2019 by cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines which said the recent importation of nine container vans of what it termed as “processed engineered fuels (PEF) comply with DENR Administrative Order  2010-06 ( Guidelines on the Use of Alternative Fuels and Raw Materials in Cement Kilns.) Holcim also said the Central Office of the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) had already sent an official letter to Bureau of Customs Port Collector John Simon dated May 21, 2019 informing Simon EMB has no objections to the importation and use of PEF as alternative fuels in cement kilns since it is declared as a product that underwent processing prior to shipment to the Philippines.  Simon earlier asked Region 10 EMB Director Reynaldo Digamo if the importation of processed engineered fuels (PEF) requires an Importation Clearance from the EMB Central office. “We are hoping that this clarifies the confusion regarding this matter. Our company maintains that the materials are PEF and these were accurately and truthfully declared as such. Acutely aware of the public outcry against the export of wastes to the Philippines and irresponsible and damaging waste disposal practices, Holcim Philippines’ importation and use of PEF as alternative fuel for its cement kilns is pursuant to its objective of contributing to the ongoing efforts to address the global waste problem.” Holcim Philippines further declared in its statement that it has been a partner in the drive to address the waste management problem in the country. “The company uses co-processing technology, wherein qualified materials such as non-recyclable plastics, rubber, textiles, cardboard and wood are used as an alternative to coal in making cement through waste management unit Geocycle.” The cement maker further declared that Geocycle has actually saved 25,000 metric tons of non-recyclable plastic wastes from various industrial partners and local governments from ending up in landfills by using these as an alternative fuel to coal in its kilns. Together with agricultural and industrial wastes, Geocycle has co-processed 600,000 tons of alternative fuel since 2015. “Aside from providing a safe and environment-friendly waste management solution, co-processing is also an important part of Holcim Philippines’ efforts to reduce carbon emissions and consumption of non-renewable resources such as coal.” Holcim explained how through co-processing, alternative fuels made from plastic, rubber, cardboard and wood are fed into the high-temperature, long residence time kilns along with coal and other raw materials of cement. “This process completely transforms alternative fuel to energy for cement production. The technology is approved by the Philippine authorities and is widely used all over the world for waste management due to its proven advantages in environmental and safety performance.” Holcim Philippines President and CEO John Stull said, “Geocycle is stepping up engagement with the private sector and studying possible collaboration with a number of local governments on providing its co-processing services.” “Holcim Philippines is a committed partner in the country’s development and we are contributing more beyond building materials. Our Geocycle business is a clear example as it helps alleviate the country’s waste management challenges, which is expected to grow along with the economy,” he added. Geocycle is looking to have pilot projects with a number of local governments in 2019 to demonstrate the advantages of its waste management service over current alternatives such as land filling.  Sustainability In a related post on its website, Holcim Philippines stressed Sustainability as among their core values. “We believe it is a key driver of our business success and we strive to practice this every day in our operations. With this, we look to make a lasting positive impact and contribute more than building materials to the development of our country. This can be seen in our efforts to be respectful of the environment, ensure the health and safety of our people and partners and help uplift the communities that host us.” “To be a better partner for progress, our company has set ambitious improvement targets within our operations and beyond our fences covering four focus areas: climate, circular economy, water and nature, and people and communities. These follow the LafargeHolcim Group’s 2030 Plan, which provides a long term road map to contribute to addressing key global challenges identified by the United Nations. Not so fast However, LGU officials from Misamis Oriental are not buying Holcim’s explanation. In a report published in another daily newspaper (not Mindanao Daily) recently elected provincial board member Gerardo Sabal III said he would ask the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to probe the shipment of nine container vans consigned to Holcim Philippines containing the controversial PEF which were unloaded at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Orientalon May 3.  Despite the letter from EMB Central Office clearing the shipment, Bureau of Customs MCT Collector John Simon reportedly said the broker who facilitated the importation of the nine vans from Australia would also be held accountable due to some “committed infractions.” A related report from another local daily said a joint inspection team from the Misamis Oriental and the BOC reportedly found “municipal wastes,” consisting of shredded garbage made from plastic, wood, and glass which would require an import permit prior to its importation. The bureau also recommended that the shipment be issued a warrant of seizure and detention order, citing possible violations of Republic Act 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000); RA 6969 (“Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990);” RA 8749 (“Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999); and RA 10863 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act).

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Economic expansion drives utility’s growth

May 19, 2019

The AboitizPower-led Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light) sees bright prospects in its franchise area in the next three to five years as robust economic growth continues to spread across the country. Davao Light forecasts to grow its peak demand from 421 MW in 2018 to 546 MW by 2023, which the distribution utility attributes to the growth in real estate businesses, sprouting huge universities, commercial complexes, and business process outsourcing offices. Apart from this, Davao posted an impressive double-digit economic growth of 10.9 percent in 2017, the highest in the region’s history, which can be attributed to the positive performance of the service and industry sectors. “We expect to serve more customers from these industries this year, especially in light of the government’s Build, Build, Build program. The construction boom in the city is a win-win for all sectors,” said Davao Light Director, President, and Chief Operating Officer Rodger S. Velasco. Among the utility’s big customers coming in between 2019 and 2021 are several residential buildings, a hotel, a business park, a multipurpose indoor arena, a factory, and schools. For this year alone, Davao Light’s franchise area will welcome two manufacturers, a mall, a food complex, a business park, and real estate development. The utility also sees an increase in annual MWh sales from 2,468,191 MWh in 2018 to 3,137,336 MWh in five years. By 2023, Davao Light also estimates to grow its customer base to 504,911 customers from 404,574 last year. To keep up with the development within the respective franchise areas of its utilities, AboitizPower has set aside P3.1 billion in 2019 to modernize its existing distribution assets across the country in the next few years. “We want to take advantage of the robust economic growth in our franchise areas by making sure power is delivered to our customers reliably, sustainably, and at the most cost-effective way. The initiatives we have mapped out for this year and beyond are part of our effort to become world-class and the best at what we do,” said Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, EVP and COO of the AboitizPower Distribution Group. Part of this modernization program is the construction of facilities in Davao Light’s franchise area that will add 424 MVA in transformation capacity, further improving network efficiency and reliability. The Davao-based utility is also set to string a total of 228 circuit kilometers of combined sub-transmission and backbone distribution lines to reinforce the existing system. To help improve its efficiency, Davao Light will also implement distribution automation and its advanced distribution management system. In terms of reliability, Davao Light reduced the average duration of power interruptions a customer experiences in a year from 315 minutes in 2017 to 301 minutes in 2018, which can be attributed to faster response time on the utility’s end. However, the average number of interruptions a customer experiences increased from 4.4 in 2017 to 5.2 in 2018, mainly due to ongoing construction works in the city, which affect the utility’s distribution lines. Davao Light is the third largest privately owned electric utility in the country. It holds the franchise for distributing electric power to Davao City as well as Panabo City and the municipalities of Carmen, Dujali, and Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte. AboitizPower is currently one of the largest electricity distributors in the Philippines with ownership interests in seven distribution utilities including the second and third largest in the country. The distribution subsidiaries of AboitizPower include Visayan Electric Company in Cebu and Cotabato Light and Power Co. in Cotabato, among others. Through the Aboitiz Group, AboitizPower has more than 80 years of experience in the Philippine power distribution sector and has been known for innovation and efficient operations.

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AboitizPower Q1 net income dips by 9% to P3.6 billion

May 16, 2019

AboitizPower recorded a consolidated net income of P3.6 billion for the first quarter of 2019, 9% lower than the P4 billion recorded for the same period last year.      Non-recurring losses amounting to P440 million were recognized during the period, compared to the P1.2 billion in non-recurring losses recorded during the same period last year. Without these one-off losses, core net income for the first quarter of 2019 was P4.1 billion, 21% lower year-on-year (YoY), which was largely due to the higher volume and cost of purchased power.      Spot market prices were exceptionally high during the first three months of 2019, and the company purchased replacement power due to outages and over-contracting in preparation for Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) coming online. The company recorded consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of P10.4 billion for the period, 13% lower than the P11.9 billion for the first quarter of 2018.      “It has been a challenging first quarter for the industry and AboitizPower. The planned maintenance shutdown of power plants in preparation for the upcoming elections, coupled with forced outages, resulted in the grid's thinning reserves. Despite this, our customers remain our top priority and we ensured delivery of replacement power from the spot market,” said Emmanuel V. Rubio, AboitizPower Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Generation and Retail Electricity Supply      AboitizPower’s generation and retail supply business recorded a consolidated EBITDA of P8.6 billion in the first quarter of 2019, 15% lower than the P10.1 billion recorded during the same period last year. This was primarily due to higher volume and cost of purchased power. As previously mentioned, spot market prices were high during the first quarter of 2018, and the company purchased replacement power caused by outages and over-contracting in preparation for TVI’s incoming capacity addition.      Capacity sold for the first quarter decreased by 7% YoY, from 3,174 megawatts (MW) in 2018 to 2,947 MW in 2019.      “We are excited with new supply contracts and new power plants that have started to deliver power to the grid, which should contribute to our bottom line starting this year,” Rubio said.      “We will continue to pursue our renewable energy projects as we look forward to the implementation of the Green Energy Option Program and Renewable Portfolio Standards. We are committed to continue providing the country with adequate power supply that is affordable and sustainable,” Rubio added. Distribution      AboitizPower’s distribution business, meanwhile, recorded consolidated EBITDA of P1.9 billion, 3% higher than the P1.8 billion recorded last year.  The company saw energy sales increase to 1,343 gigawatt-hours (GWh), which was 3% higher than the 1,298 GWh recorded in the first quarter of 2018.  This was driven by the increase in new customers across all segments.  About AboitizPower      AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. It advances business and communities by providing reliable and ample power supply at a reasonable and competitive price, and with the least adverse effects on the environment and host communities.      The company is one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a balanced portfolio of assets located across the country. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy with several hydroelectric, geothermal and solar power generation facilities. It also has thermal power plants in its generation portfolio to support the baseload and peak energy demands of the country.      The company also owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, including the second and third largest private utilities in the country.

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Harley-Davidson opens Davao dealership

May 16, 2019

DAVAO City — More Harley-Davidson motorcycles could soon be hitting Mindanao’s roads with the recent opening of a dealership here, which also offers after-sales service and original merchandise for the American motorcycle brand. The 500-square meter shop along J.P. Laurel Avenue is controlled by Rdak Global Motors Inc., the Harley-Davidson dealer in Cebu.      “We hope to satiate the craving of the Davao and Mindanao market (for the brand),” said Therese Carmita A. Maligon, marketing manager of the Cebu and Davao dealership in a news conference.      Rdak Global Motors owner Regan Rex T. King said the group decided to expand to Davao to address demand customers and tap “the growing markets in Mindanao.”      Mr. King did not disclose the number of Harley-Davidson owners in the southern islands, but said the market consists mainly of motorcycle enthusiasts who can afford a ride of at least P1.1 million.      This market, he added, always “look for a Harley-Davidson” even if they own other brands.      Mr. King said with the new Davao shop, Rdak Global hopes to ensure that customers “will get the premium experience that (Harley-Davidson) owners so deserve.”      “We want to give a premium customer experience for our customers in this part of the country, especially in having their bikes serviced,” he said.      He added that the company is selling not just high-end motorcycles, but a “total culture and lifestyle.”      “Our customers love to hang out,” he said, which is why it was important to set up more than just a display store.

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Cebu Pacific opens applications for new batch of Cadet Pilots

May 16, 2019

Leading Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) is opening applications for a seventh batch of Cadet Pilots to be trained at the prestigious Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia through CEB’s “study now, pay later, zero-interest” training program. The carrier will be selecting 16 cadet pilots to join six other batches currently undergoing pilot training in Australia. Application period for the seventh batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots will run from May 17 to 26, 2019. Interested applicants may visithttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YFDGFGM to apply for the program starting 12 noon on May 17, 2019. There is no application fee for the program. Only applicants who pass the online pre-screening will proceed with the next stages of the selection process. The selection process consists of interviews, computer aptitude tests, medical examinations, psychological tests and spoken English tests. Only successful applicants undergo an on-site screening for core skills and pilot aptitude tests, among others, where a fee of AU$425.00 (about PHP19,000) will be charged. The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program is a multi-million dollar initiative that aims to provide a steady flow of highly-skilled, internationally trained airline pilots over the next five years. Applicants must be Filipino citizens who are college graduates who are proficient in English. There are no preferred college degrees, and applicants need only have an average grade of at least 80% or its equivalent in subjects related to Math, Physics and English. Cebu Pacific shoulders the entire cost of the pilot training. Cadet-pilots who successfully complete the training are assured of employment with the carrier. They then reimburse the cost of the program through monthly salary deduction over a maximum of ten years at zero-interest. One of these applicants was Darryl Dave Ditucalan from Iligan City. A certified Electronics and Communications Engineer, Ditucalan graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. His parents are farmers and local government officials in the province of Lanao del Norte. Ditucalan took a chance and applied for the program. After undergoing a comprehensive selection process, he became part of the first batch of CEB Cadet Pilots. After a year of training in Adelaide, Australia, Ditucalan and 11 other cadets are set to return to the Philippines by mid-June where they are assured of positions as First Officers in the carrier’s pilot corps. “To those wanting to be pilots but are financially or otherwise constrained, take advantage of this opportunity offered by Cebu Pacific. The ten year payback period is very affordable compared to what this career can bring to you and your family,” said Ditucalan. Since the program was launched in late-2017, CEB has deployed 80 cadet pilots to FTA, selected from over 38,000 applicants, with a sixth batch set to depart for training by July 2019. For more information, visit http://www.flyfta.com/pilot-training/cebu-pacific-cadet-program.  About Cebu Air Inc. (PSE: CEB) Cebu Air Inc., operating as Cebu Pacific, is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the Philippines than any other airline. CEB and subsidiary Cebgo fly to 36 domestic and 26 international destinations, with over 107 routes spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA. The Cebu Pacific fleet is comprised of an Airbus A321NEO, 35 Airbus A320, seven (7) Airbus A321CEO, eight (8) Airbus A330, eight (8) ATR 72-500, and 12 ATR 72-600 aircraft. The ATR aircraft are used by Cebgo for inter-island flights where jet operations are not possible. CEB boasts of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of five (5) years. For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines +852-397-33800. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. About Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) is a provider of world-class, customized aviation training solutions for the fixed wing and rotary wing industry. FTA is focused on producing future airline and helicopter captains, rather than simply training cadets to obtain a license. FTA caters to sponsored cadets and self-funded students and offers a full range of services, including selection, ab initio and advanced training courses for airline and general aviation students. Located at Parafield Airport in South Australia, FTA started operations in 1982 and over the years has had a number of corporate owners, including Hawker de Havilland and BAE SYSTEMS. In 2005, FTA was purchased by Hong Kong-based Young Brothers Aviation.

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Udenna Group optimistic of Davao’s role as aviation hub

May 15, 2019

DAVAO City – Davao-based Udenna Infrastructure Corporation is bullish on the important contribution of the city to the aviation sector,  being the hub for meetings, incentives, conference, exhibitions (MICE) and a tourism destination in the South.      Engr. Manuel Jamonir, assistant vice president for operations of Udenna Infrastructure Corporation, said Wednesday that Davao City's role in the aviation sector lies in developing more international routes.      Jamonir noted that the Davao airport lags behind in terms of international traffic but hopes the city will become the next top key player in aviation once its airport will be expanded and developed.      As of now, he said the country's top airports with international traffic are the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila and those in Cebu; Clark, Pampanga; and Kalibo in Aklan.      Jamonir said the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is already working on stronger connectivity, beginning with the return of the Davao–Manado (Indonesia) direct flight. He said the possible reopening of the Davao-Manado route is now under discussion.       The Davao-Manado route used to be served by Bouraq Airlines until it was suspended years ago because of low passenger load factor.      Jamonir said the Department of Tourism (DoT) on Monday already collaborated with all tourism stakeholders to work together to promote Davao. He also underscored the importance of the basic elements of an eco-system from airport to inflight, transit, and motivation.      During Wednesday’s Habi at Kape at the Abreeza Mall, Jamonir presented Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. (CLC) plan for the Davao airport.      Chelsea Holdings is an Udenna firm, which submitted an unsolicited proposal to undertake the P48.8-billion expansion and operation of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport or the Davao International Airport.      Jamonir said Udenna already received an assessment from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on its bid.      “We are working on our response,” he said, noting that the required response from Udenna was on Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-related concerns.      Two weeks ago, Udenna sought the endorsement of the City Council in its bid to undertake the airport project at P48.8 billion under the Public Private Partnership (PPP).      “The process will take longer. The city council will have to conduct hearing,” Jamonir told reporters. City Council will have to review and endorse the project to the DOTr, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Regional Development Council (RDC).      Jamonir said the P48.8 billion is the nominal cost under private financing--at no cost to the government. The project will include the landside and airside developments, reconfiguration and expansion of the passenger terminal building, parallel taxiway, and new airport technologies to enhance the passenger experience.      “It is an unsolicited PPP proposal so it has to follow the certain process under the BOT (Build Operate Transfer) law. We submitted the full proposal last year and we received the original proponent status,” Jamonir said.      Jamonir stressed that “if you have the original proponent status, the government will only talk to you and second, you have the right to match during the Swiss challenge”.      Currently, Jamonir said the existing airport can accommodate four million passengers based on their feasibility and technical analysis. Udenna seeks to increase its passenger volume by up to 15 million in 30 years. (PNA)

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