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Tuna Firms Shift To Coal To Cut On Production Costs

Tuna canneries here have shifted from bunker oil to coal in fueling their boilers due to rising fuel prices over the last two years.
Mariano Fernandez of Ocean Canning, president of the Tuna Canner Association of the Philippines (TCAP) said they save as much as 60 per cent of their fuel consumption after they shifted to coal.

In the past, tuna canning plants used bunker fuel to fire up their huge boilers in pre-cooking their raw materials.

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.
Gentuna, the country’s biggest canning plant, has been using coal over the last two years.

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.

Although he failed to give the exact figure, he said the company was able to cut on fuel costs by more than one half.

“We consume an average of 80 to 90 metric tons a day,” Magnayon said.

Prevailing prices of bunker fuel, according to him, hover between P24 to P25 per liter while coal is pegged at P3.80 to 4 pesos per kilo.

Celebes Canning and Ocean Canning are likewise already using coal, according to him. “We have significantly reduced our fuel consumption to about five percent of our production costs,” Magnayon added.

Philbest is sourcing its coal requirements from Indonesia while Gentuna buys its coal supply from MG Mining in Bislig, Surigao del Sur.

Rivera said they have installed anti-pollution devices to minimize emissions from their coal burners.

“We are using French technology that scrubs sulfur from the smoke stack,” he explained.

Both Rivera and Magnayon claimed their boiler plants have the necessary environmental clearance certificates.