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PIA Press Release

Beneco to spend P124-M for 2010 electrification projects

by Lito Dar and MC Acmo

Baguio City (20 February) -- In line with the national government's effort to provide electricity to all the barangays and sitios in the country, the Benguet Electric Cooperative(BENECO) will be spending almost P124 million for its line expansion, rehabilitation and additional capacity projects for this year.

Engr. Melchor Licoben, Head of Beneco's Engineering Department announced in a kapihan forum last week that the Department of Energy (DOE) n released to BENECO last January a P9.41 million subsidy for the electrification of seven sitios in Bokod, Benguet and three sitios in Bakun, Benguet.

According to Licoben, 99 percent of all barangays and 86 percent of sitios in Benguet are already energized.

Licoben also informed said that BENECO has a budget of P50.7 million to continuously upgrade lines to maintain the reliability and stability of its system. BENECO will also be installing additional capacities to its system to meet the increasing energy demands in the province.

The electric coop will be spending P28 million to energize three sub-stations this year. The project includes a 20 MBA power transformer in Lamut, Beckel, La Trinidad to supply the eastern side of Baguio; a 5 MBA in Sinipsip, Buguias, Benguet to supply Buguias, Bokod and Kabayan, Benguet; and the upgrading of the 20 MBA power transformer in North Sanitary Camp into 37.5 MBA as the said transformer supplies almost one-third of the energy requirement of Baguio's total households.

In 2009, BENECO also reported spending a total of P53,661.843.92 on line expansion projects and P30,225,148.60 on line rehabilitation and upgrading projects.

To further improve their services to their subscribers, BENECO is also pushing through with its plan to put up its own hydro-electric power plants. They have already identified three possible sites in Benguet (one in Bugias and two in Tuba) and the DOE already gave a nod for BENECO to do a feasibility study on the two of the said projects.

According to BENECO General Manager Gerardo Versoza, having into their own hydro-electric power plants would lessen the power requirement they are buying from Independent Power producers (IPPs) and would lower the cost of electricity for their consumers. (PIA) [top]

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