Ship recyling project scuttled

BACOLOD City – Incoming Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the $300-million ship recycling project proposed by Tsuneishi Heavy Industries of Japan in Hinoba-an town will not push through for now.

“The project is suspended for now,” Lacson said.

In a meeting with outgoing Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Lacson said the suspension of the project is due to legal issues besetting the 150-hectare project site at Salvacion, Brgy. Bacuyangan, Hinoba-an. The site is of the proposed Southern Negros Industrial Estate.

Earlier, Marañon requested the Negros Occidental provincial board to pass the proposed resolution granting him authority to apply for an additional Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and other related clearances from concerned government agencies for the initial development of the industrial estate in Hinoba-an.

“It has taken the provincial government three years to acquire the property and it has not totally cleared the land with 18 houses still standing there. Maybe in the future when the property has been cleared both of structures and legal issues, maybe they (Tsuneishi) will return,” Lacson said.

Records showed that the provincial government has allocated P20 million for the purchase of the 143,163-square meter resettlement area for families affected by the proposed economic zone where the Japanese ship recycling plant will be built.

Green Alert Network-Negros Island and its ally non-government and people’s organizations opposed the ship-recycling facility claiming that 15,000 mangroves will be cut down to pave the way for the project, and corals, sea grasses, and the livelihood of the community will also be affected.