Tuna canneries shift to coal to cut on production costs
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Tuna canneries shift to coal to cut on production costs

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (July 21) – Rising fuel prices over the last two years has prompted most of the tuna canning plants in the city to shift from bunker oil to coal in fueling their boilers.
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Tuna Canner Association of the Philippines (TCAP) president Mariano Fernandez of Ocean Canning said they save as much as 60 per cent of their fuel consumption after they shifted to coal.
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Tuna canning plants are previously using bunker fuel to fire up their huge boilers in pre-cooking their raw materials.
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Richie Rivera, executive vice president of RD Group of Companies that owns Philbest Canning Corporation, said they are consuming 2,000 metric tons of coal a month.
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Gentuna, the country’s biggest canning plant, has already been using coal over the last two years.
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Ric Magnayon, general manager of Gentuna, said the conversion of their boilers from bunker to coal came at the time when petroleum prices shot up in the international market.
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Although he failed to give the exact figure, he said the company was able to cut on fuel costs by more than one half.
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“We consume an average of 80 to 90 metric tons a day,” Magnayon said.
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Prevailing prices of bunker fuel, according to him, hover between P24 to P25 per liter while coal is pegged at P3.80-4.00 per kilo.
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Celebes Canning and Ocean Canning are likewise already using coal, according to him.
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“We have significantly reduced our fuel consumption to about five percent of our production costs,” Magnayon added.
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Philbest is sourcing its coal requirements from Indonesia while Gentuna buys its coal supply from MG Mining in Bislig, Surigao del Sur.
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Rivera said they have installed anti-pollution devices to minimize emissions from their coal burners.
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“We are using French technology that scrubs sulfur from the smoke stack,” he explained.
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Both Rivera and Magnayon claimed their boiler plants have the necessary environmental clearance certificates.
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Six of the country’s seven canneries are located in the city.