VMC pouring in P200 million to protect environment

Gilbert Bayoran (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2020 - 12:00am

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines  – Victorias Milling Co. in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, has invested more than P200 million in new structures and modern technological processes to address environmental concerns and ensure operational efficiency based on global standards.

“We are taking action on the environmental issues in both our sugar production operation at the VMC mill and in our distillery plant in Manapla, all of which we expect to be operational by the third quarter of this year,” VMC president Minnie Chua said during the annual stockholders meeting held earlier this month at the Victorias Golf and Country Club in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

A new ash settling concrete pond with a six-foot high enclosure has been commissioned to augment the existing settling ponds along with anti-pollution control devices in the boilers, VMC also said in a press statement.

This is expected to improve water quality being circulated in the boilers, which will correspondingly result in a more efficient operation and reduce ash emission, it added.

The project is underway and is expected to operate before the end of the first quarter of 2020, VMC said.

VMC also added a new 40m x 102m bagasse shed that can hold some 12,000 metric tons of bagasse and includes a conveying system to handle the piling and retrieval of bagasse.

The VMC said that the fully enclosed shed is expected to minimize bagasse particles from being carried by the wind and will also prevent deterioration of the bagasse during heavy downpour.

A new collection area for clear water discharge from the raw house mills and the refinery is also being set up. Called the “sweet water storage pond,” this 7,400-square meter facility will be lined with high-density polyethylene and can store over 23,000 cubic meters of water discharge, it also said

As part of their zero-waste program, the collected water from the pond will be re-used as make-up water for the new ash settling pond which in turn will minimize the amount of wastewater that will be processed in the water treatment facility.

At the Manapla distillery, five open lagoons with a holding capacity of over 57,000 cubic meters will be established and serve as biological treatment area for the slops. Expected to be turned over before the next milling season, the new lagoons will replace the current existing natural terrain lagoons, one of which has already been decommissioned as work progresses, VMC added.

VMC is also spearheading the establishment of the multi-partite monitoring team involving local government officials, environmental agencies and members of communities to work hand-in-hand in preserving the environment.

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