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PIA Press Release

Hedcor to fight for water right till end

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (27 February) -- Aboitiz' Power chief executive officer ErRamon Aboitiz briefed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her recent visit in Sibulan Hydropower plant yesterday, the company's big battle for water right against the Davao City Water District.

"From the President's comments, it seemed that she is in a hurry to replicate this Sibulan project in Tamugan," said Aboitiz.

The Sibulan plant located in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur is scheduled for completion by October this year. As it starts operation, Hedcor is supposed to start the construction of the Tamugan hydropower plant in Calinan, Davao City.

The Tamugan power project could not be pursued as Hedcor was still fighting for the water right as a requirement to start the project.

President Arroyo asked the Environment and Natural Resources regional director Jim Sampulna to look into the matter for immediate solution.

Hedcor, on its part, is optimistic that positive results will come out in the coming hearing to be conducted by the National Water Regulatory Board (NWRB) on March 17.

"Our next move would really depend on the decision of the NWRB," he stressed.

Aboitiz is not entertaining any thought of surrender as the company has high hopes that it could settle rift with the DCWD.

The power company agrees that water should be prioritized over power; however, in such case the company believes that there is a win-win solution that can be used to benefit both power and water sectors.

Aboitiz expects a 30 month construction period if the Tamugan project will be given permission to start middle this year. It is then expected to operate third quarter of 2011.

The power company is not seeing any other potential river source like Tamugan in this part of the country.

"The Tamugan River is very economical and it could give the company a more competitive cost for the power generated and distributed," he added.

This pushes the company to fight for the water right in all kind of venues just to pursue their so-called "feasible and economic Tamugan project". (PIA XI) [top]

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