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PIA Press Release

P500-M already poured in Sibulan hydropower project

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (12 February) -- Completing the permits in two years to operate and construct the P5-billion Sibulan Hydropower Project (SHP) in Sta. Cruz town, about P500 million of its investments were already spent as of this time. Oncee operational the local government unit expects 20 percent increase in its current revenue.

Hedcor president and chief operations officer Rene Ronquillo said the Sibulan hydro plants will be its 16th and 17th projects nationwide.

Ten of the projects are in Benguet while five in Davao City and the two in Sibulan, Sta. Cruz.

The Sibulan project entails the construction of two cascading run-of-river hydropower plants that will tap the Sibulan and Baroring Rivers. It includes the construction of five drop intakes, more than 16 kilometers of steel conveyance lines to divert the water from the rivers to the plants, about 27 kilometers of transmission lines to connect the plants to a Davao Light and Power Company substation. Each of the plants will also utilize a head pond to generate more energy during peak hours.

The project is a 42.5-megawatt hydropower project which is one of the largest investments of the Aboitiz group in the hydropower generation business. It will generate carbon neutral electricity, which will eventually contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases and will reduce the reliance on the use of imported oil.

Ronquillo said the Sibulan plants' 212 million kilowatt-hour expected annual generation will be sold to DLPC starting 2009.

Mayor Jose Ray Lopez of Sta. Cruz municipality said while the project is still undergoing construction, the town already earned revenues through the contractors that handle the project works of the plant.

But once the plants are operational, he said they expect more revenues projected to about P20 million annually. Right now he said the Hedcor is the biggest investment in the area, bigger than San Miguel Corporation.

Meanwhile he said the community starts to benefit from the projects as access roads were built. When the project is complete about 44.8 kilometers of road will be opened or improved.

He also said that there are local employment generated either direct or indirect jobs as the company adopts the policy of hiring qualified residents of nearby communities for the construction stage.

Ronquillo on the other said that even before the project starts, the barangay already is benefiting from it firstly with the monthly land rental of P900, 000.

All crops that are affected with the coming in of the projects like construction of roads were already paid and total payments to date amounted to P20 million. (PIA XI) [top]

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