Just before leaving the borders of Davao City, a certain power plant may have piqued the interest of curious passersby. With a massive dome that can be seen even from airplanes, the 300-megawatt Davao Baseload Power Plant is a hard sight to miss.
The sheer size of the power plant may seem imposing, but the plant has been gaining traction in industrial tourism, becoming a go-to destination for educational visits through its Energy Education Center. The plant complex is also home to some vibrant marine and avian life, with some 300 sea turtles hatching from Therma South, Inc.’s (TSI) coast just last year.
Birds, pawikans, and tour groups are not the only things that frequent the plant. TSI’s coal jetty also bustles with activity a few days every month when panamax ships deliver important fuel.
Because of this, TSI has consistently landed in the Top 10 Importers for the Port of Davao for the past 4 years ever since it began commercial operations in 2016.
“For the previous year , the Port has collected nearly 30 billion pesos. This is significantly higher than the amount that we have collected the year prior. This amount is for the government to build critical infrastructure, to sustain programs, to protect the health of the public, and to secure our nation’s future,” Bureau of Customs-Port of Davao District Collector Atty. Erastus Sandino B. Austria said during their 93rd Founding Anniversary last February 21, 2020, thanking the region’s top importers and exporters for their contributions.
TSI imports coal primarily from the Indonesian region of Kalimantan. About 90,000 metric tons of coal is delivered to TSI every month. Selecting the right kind of coal is crucial in helping ensure that the plant operates efficiently with minimal environmental impact.
Pollution control technology and protocols are also in place to ensure that TSI can transform the coal into energy responsibly. Coal is unloaded from the ship using a screw-type unloader. Working like a giant vacuum cleaner, this technology unloads coal directly from the hatch of the vessel to the fully-covered conveyor system. This technology helps prevent spillage and coal dust proliferation.
The coal is sent to the coal dome, a first-of-its-kind storage facility in the Philippines. The dome ensures the security of the fuel and prevents fugitive dust from going into the air. TSI uses the Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) process in generating electricity. This process keeps air emissions at significantly lower levels compared to traditional coal-fired power plants.
Apart from its commitment to environmental stewardship, TSI also strives to be a partner for development, partnering with the local government unit and different organizations in the identification and implementation of programs aimed to uplift the quality of life of its host communities.
Wholly-owned AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) is the owner and operator of the 300-Megawatt Davao Baseload Power Plant located in Binugao, Toril, Davao City. TSI is certified in four ISO standards, namely Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015), Environmental Management (ISO 14001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety Management (OHSAS 45001:2018), and Asset Management System (ISO 55001:2014). Along with Therma Luzon, Inc. and Therma Visayas, Inc., the three primarily comprise the Coal Business Unit of AboitizPower.