Biogas plant in Legazpi eyed to save city P1M in fuel expenses

LEGAZPI CITY – The first biogas plant in Southern Luzon expected to help the city government save on fuel expenses is set to start its pilot operations next month.

City Veterinary Office (CVO) chief Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, in an interview on Tuesday, said the plant is already 90 percent complete and now gearing up for its initial operations.

“Once the project becomes operational, it is projected to produce methane gas and high grade organic fertilizer,” Estipona told the Philippine News Agency, adding that the produced gas will be used as fuel to boil water for the city slaughterhouse’s daily services.

He added that the Class AA abattoir here is spending more than PHP1 million worth of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) every year to boil water for the slaughtered animals.

“And this methane gas that would be produced by the biogas plant could serve as substitute fuel for its daily slaughtering activities,” Estipona added.

The project is funded out of the PHP300,000 grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) while the civil works are being supervised by the City Engineering Office (CEO).

The plant is built adjacent to the slaughterhouse in Barangay San Roque.

He said the project’s memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed on June 30, 2020 by Mayor Noel E. Rosal for the city government, and regional director Rommel Serrano for DOST-Bicol.

Estipona said the project is one of the solid waste management practices that are seen to mitigate public health hazard and environmental degradation.

The organic fertilizers that it can produce would be distributed to the farmers for free as part of the support to the “Plant, Plant, Plant” program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Based on the MOA, Estipona said DOST is tasked to prepare the appropriate design for the biogas plant and provided technical assistance.

DOST likewise provided training on biogas plant management, operation and maintenance and explains the benefits of the project through media releases.

“The agency has also designated a focal person who will coordinate and provide necessary technical assistance and monitor the project implementation,” Estipona said.

He added that the DOST will monitor and evaluate the project implementation and reports of the city government and immediately recommend appropriate actions for observed problems/deficiencies in order to ensure the success of the biogas plant project. (by Emmanuel Solis, PNA)