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Ethanol plant for bio-fuel in Zamboanga


(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Zamboanga City hungers for good news. The series of events in the past weeks, which were heart-breaking, brought somehow an indirect depression to our people. Plus recently, those who wanted to enter Zamboanga City from Sibugay, del Sur, Cotabato, and etc—because they wanted to stage a peace rally here, did again alarm, not just our local authorities but, the Zamboangueño people itself.

However, yesterday Cong. Lilia Nuño in her program, Motherly Yours Lilia in Barangay eMedia, brought for Zamboanga a good report. It is something which must cause everyone a very good smile. A big European company, whose investors are mainly Dutch and Danish nationals, wants to put up a huge energy plant here in the City, using the bio-fuel ethanol as its base source.

A number of experts and representatives of this said company came over here on Tuesday, February 9, to personally see prospects. The idea is the company will lease some 35,000 hectares of land in the City and in the nearby provinces to plant sweet sorghums. (Wikipedia writes that sorghum is a genus of grasses with about 30 species, one of which is raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants, either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warm climates worldwide.)

Same sorghums will be harvested and its juice will be refined as for the ethanol. According to the European guests, in their three days of personal ocular assessments, Zamboanga City has the 80% chances for the project. Zamboanga has vast lands and its soil’s quality is very conducive for sorghums, the experts added.

They may build their plant in Barangay Panubigan, at the West Coast. Part of the probability is to utilize the Limahong and the Sacol Islands for the sorghum plantation. Though everything is yet raw, somehow the initial impressions of the experts for the City are very positive.

They approached Cong. Lilia Nuño because of her good and clean tract record as a legislator. Besides, they also know the capacity of the solon to tap the right people and perfect places for the investment. If this will happen in La Bella, it can be the best legacy Cong. Lilia may give to the Zamboangueño people.

Cong. Lilia disclosed to Barangay eMedia that supposed after retirement from the PCSO as its Chief Lottery Operations Officer (CLOO) during the 90’s and the early 2000 as its pioneer executive in Region IX, she already wanted to live a normal private life and spent her years for her husband, family, and grandchildren. However, deep inside her heart there was that undeniable tug, which she could not refuse—to continue to serve the people.

Thus, she entered to politics. She started as a City Councilor, and left a good and outstanding performance, until she became a Congresswoman for the 2nd District of the City. The 74-year old legislator wanted nothing more in her life but only to be able to help and give a better life to every Zamboangueño. And this said investment, which she is facilitating, could be so far the best.

Our City for long has suffered for energy deficiency in years. It affected so much our local economy. Though a coal plant will be opened anytime on 2106 somewhere in the West Coast, but its issue on the environmental consequences do still worry many conservationists.

Ethanol is a green utilization of potential energy. It won’t just be power as an environmental friendly, but can become a way also to reduce the energy price to our local electricity. We are to see as well the economic limitless possibilities of our locals can gain out of this investment. It shall surely beat the poverty problem of the City.

The same European Company will return to Zamboanga in less than two months to conduct more studies and follow-ups. It already tapped the Western Mindanao State University and the ECOZONE for the feasibilities on the agriculture aspect and the Department of Agriculture for the soil quality tests it needs.

Despite of all the hardships La Bella did go through in these past years, God has not forgotten the Zamboangueño people, and that which He already began to establish good things in us, He will continue it until its perfection.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Ps. 126:5-6, NIV)

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