The Philippines is facing an acute solid waste problem. Landfills are reaching capacity, and improper waste disposal is creating a host of environmental and health hazards, including ground and surface water contamination, unchecked greenhouse gas emissions and the spread of diseases.
Manila, Philippines-based Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. (Prime Infra) is on a mission to help address this issue. Prime Infra established Prime Integrated Waste Solutions, Inc. (PWS) to answer the increasing demand for waste management solutions especially in industrialized and fast-growing cities, starting with Cebu.
PWS acquired ARN Central Waste Management, which receives and processes around 1,000 tons of Cebu’s municipal solid waste daily.1 PWS plans to double that capacity to 2,000 tons while bringing the quality of operations at par with world-class materials recovery facilities.
“PWS’ business model covers the full value chain once the waste is delivered to our facility from treatment, disposal, resource recovery, to conversion. It changes the municipal solid waste and industrial solid waste management landscape for the better as we relentlessly pursue positive social and environmental initiatives that align with our purpose of making better lives and resilient economies through critical infrastructure,” says Prime Infra President and CEO, Guillaume Lucci.
PWS turned to HSBC to provide the PHP1.35 billion (US$24.5 million) green loan, compliant with the Green Loan Principles, to finance the acquisition and expansion of the Cebu waste management facility helping to support sustainable goals on two fronts. Firstly, the waste facility in Cebu has an integrated recycling operation that helps limit the amount of trash that is ultimately landfilled. Secondly, the facility also operationalizes the recyclables business by producing refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
“With Cebu’s economy now firmly back on an expansionary path following the pandemic, there is an urgent need to expand and upgrade its waste management capacity,” says Mimi Concha, Head of Wholesale Banking at HSBC Philippines. “Sustainable waste management provides clear environmental benefits by recovering more materials, limiting the amount of waste that ends up in landfill and providing key jobs in an emerging sector.”
Supporting sustainable development
Diverting rubbish from the country’s overflowing landfills will also have a beneficial climate impact given that residual waste generates greenhouse gases as it decomposes, including methane, which has 80 times the planet-warming potential of carbon dioxide.2