Therma South turns ash and plastic waste into bricks through upcycling facility

December 07, 2021

Therma South turns ash and plastic waste into bricks through upcycling facility

AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. kicked off the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities with Kaibigans or BRICK Hub as part of the company’s commitment to co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities.

TSI, in collaboration with Green Antz Builders, Inc., United Kaibigan Multipurpose Cooperative (UKC), and Income Credit Cooperative (ICC), launched on November 26, 2021 the B.R.I.C.K. Hub -- a material recovery facility that would upcycle the TSI power plant’s ash byproducts and the community’s plastic waste  into sustainable and high-value construction materials.

“The BRICK project is a promise fulfilled. When AboitizPower proposed the construction of TSI, we committed to ultimately set up a facility that could recycle our ash byproducts into sustainable construction materials. With our partners and our supportive host barangays, we are not only upcycling our ash, but also plastic waste from the community, while providing livelihood opportunities to brickmakers and installers coming from the host communities,” said TSI Facility Head Abe Nisnisan.

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B.R.I.C.K Hub is finally open. (L-R) Rex Concepcion, Operations Manager, Green Antz Inc., Alan Cruz, Senior Head, Sta. Cruz Environment & National Resources Division, Hon. Danilo Baquial, Punong Barangay, Inawayan, Hon. Remegio Saniel, Punong Barangay, Binugao, and District III Councilors: Hon. Sweet Advincula and Hon. Alberto Ungab, and Mr. Abe Nisnisan, Facility Head, Therma South Inc. at the B.R.I.C.K Hub launching last November 26, 2021 at Therma South, Inc.

Technological partner Green Antz provided the eco-brick model for the project and trained 13 community residents in the brickmaking and brick installation process.  While cooperative partners UKC and ICC  manage the day-to-day operations of the hub, sourcing manpower from TSI’s host barangays of Binugao in Toril, Davao City and Inawayan in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

“Through our shared vision of sustainable development, we were able to forge a strong partnership to help communities with solid waste management, support resilient infrastructure, and most importantly reduce our collective environmental footprint,” said Nisnisan.

Eco-stores were also established in Barangay Binugao and Barangay Inawayan, which serve as plastic collection hubs for the community. Plastic waste collected is used as raw material for production and also acts as an insulator for the bricks and pavers. 

“This project is really a big help to the people of Brgy. Inawayan and Brgy. Binugao. Firstly, the residents are given employment opportunities. And second, it is a very good way to reduce plastic waste in the different puroks of the barangays. Soon, we hope we can expand the eco store and collect more plastic to recycle,” Inayawan Barangay Captain Danilo Baquial of Barangay Inawayan said.

“Today is a very significant day as the BRICK Hub is finally launched. I see this as a very important project as it not only helps the communities of Binugao and Inawayan, but we can also help in reducing waste in the area and saving the environment,” Binugao Barangay Captain Remegio Saniel added.

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RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE. Invited guests were presented with the eco-brick final product. The bricks are made using TSI plant’s ash byproducts and the plastic wastes collected at the eco hub’s installed at Barangay Inawayan and Barangay Binugao.

Davao City District III Councilors Sweet Advincula, Alberto Ungab, and Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz also attended the launching.

“We can talk to CENRO and help out in collecting more plastics and send it over at the BRICK Hub facility. Since Councilor Myrna and I are part of the committee on medium housing, rural, and urban development, we will also encourage our developers to introduce these eco-bricks to our developers,” Councilor Advincula said. “Rest assured that the City Government of Davao will always welcome Aboitiz’s projects as we see that the group is always geared towards the development of the community,”. she added.

As an advocate for innovation and sustainability, TSI believes this is just a beginning for the B.R.I.C.K. Hub, supporting not only resilient and sustainable infrastructure but also providing livelihood opportunities to the partner communities.

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LIVELIHOOD OPPORTUNITIES. Residents from Barangay Inawayan and Barangay Binugao who were trained for brickmaking demonstrate the process of making the eco-bricks and eco-pavers.

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 (ISO 45001:2018), and Asset Management System (ISO 55001:2014). Along with Therma Luzon, Inc. and Therma Visayas, Inc., the three primarily compose the Coal Business Unit of AboitizPower.