Non-government organization Power for People Coalition on Wednesday welcomed the cancellation of the 600-megawatt coal-fired power project in Subic, Zambales.
P4P called the decision of the Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. joint venture project a triumph of communities at the forefront of the resistance against coal.
RP Energy is a joint venture between Manila Electric Co.’s generation unit Meralco PowerGen, Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp.
Several groups strongly opposed the project in the past, leading to the issuance of a Writ of Kalikasan, which was eventually resolved.
“While the cancellation of the Subic coal plant is a welcome development, we no longer find it surprising given the many triumphs that groups advocating for clean energy have won over it,” said Gerry Arances, convenor of P4P.
Arances expressed hope that Meralco and other power players will “finally starting to see sense and would soon have more coal cancellations to announce.”
According to P4P, the power supply agreement rejection at the Supreme Court and now the cancellation of the Subic coal plant were built on the decade-long resistance of local communities.
“With this news, we are able to face the youth and future generations of Subic residents with pride knowing we won the fight against this dirty energy project. We have seen the kind of destruction coal and other fossil fuels wreaked onto other communities in Zambales and across the country,” said Jen Velarmino Van der Heijde, president of Subic Bay Freeport Chamber for Health and Environment Conservation.
“The cancellation of RP Energy’s coal plant is an encouragement for us to continue working to free Subic from the threat of dirty energy,” said Van der Heijde.
Arances said Meralco should also reconsider its proposed 1,200-MW coal plant in Quezon under its subsidiary Atimonan One Energy.
“The failure of RP Energy in pursuing its Subic coal plant should already be a lesson learned for Meralco, other coal proponents and financiers that coal will result in nothing but problems for them in years to come. On our part as residents of Quezon, we would continue using our voices to amplify the cry of the Earth against coal,” said Fr. Warren Puno, Director of the Ministry of Ecology of the Diocese of Lucena.
RP Energy is now looking at the Subic site as a possible location of a natural gas project.
The development of the RP Energy project was put on hold since 2019 over geological concerns arising from the “instability in one of the slopes” that could affect construction.