By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A KOREAN power firm is still keen on putting up a coal-fired power plant in Panay despite stiff opposition it met nine years ago.

Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul Banias said Korean Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) plans to convert the Panay Diesel Power Plant (PDPP) in Dingle, Iloilo into a coal-fired power plant.

In an interview with the weekly cable TV talk show Serbisyo Publiko hosted by Councilor Perla Zulueta Sunday, Banias said Kepco has not lost interest in putting up a power plant in Panay.

Kepco is part owner of SPC Power Corp., the mother unit of SPC Island Power Corp. which bought PDPP and Bohol diesel fired power plant early this year for US$5 million.

“In fact, they told me that their main plan after buying the plant is to convert the PDPP into a coal-fired power plant. They are still interested in investing in the energy sector here in Panay,” Banias said.

Kepco first proposed to put up a 100-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Tibiao, Antique but moved to Iloilo due to poor soil stability in the area.

The Korean power firm then planned to locate the project in the towns of Ajuy and later to Banate but it ultimately transferred to Cebu due to stiff opposition from environmental groups and the Catholic Church.

Kepco is now operating a US$270-million coal-fired power plant in Cebu.