Located in Sual, Pangasinan is the 1,200-MW coal-fired Sual Power Plant along Lingayen Gulf. This power plant is majority-owned by Mirant Philippines and is the country’s largest coal-fired power plant. You can see the plant’s tall smokestack when you’re driving along northern Pangasinan towards Alaminos City (Hundred Islands) or Bolinao.
If the Sual Power Plant sounds familiar, then it’s because this plant is where the infamous dikya incident occurred. On December 10, 1999, some “50 truckloads of jellyfish” got sucked into and clogged the plant’s cooling system, thereby shutting it down. This triggered a cascading power failure across the Luzon grid. Metro Manila and most of the rest of Luzon went without power for several hours. Many cried economic sabotage and declared the jellyfish story as “fishy.”
Greenpeace has been campaigning for the closing down of the Sual Power plant for several years now citing adverse effects on the environment (the plant emits more CO2 than all the jeepneys combined) and mercury emissions that may affect the health of the local population. In 2002, Greenpeace activists went to Sual to stage a peaceful protest and got a warning shot to the air as compensation.