Kidapawan honors Japanese firm behind geothermal plants

Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco will present a plaque of appreciation to the president of Marubeni Energy Services Corporation (MESC), which is also the company operating and maintaining the power plants located at Barangay Ilomavis here.

The mayor said the company has helped the lumads through educational assistance and livelihood projects.

The Manobo and Bagobo tribes people inhabit Ilomavis, which is located at the foot of Mount Apo.

Marubeni president Ryukichi Kawaguchi is expected to be present at the awarding ceremony on Thursday during the culmination of the weeklong foundation day celebrations of the city.

Sim Maravilla, in-charge of Marubeni’s corporate social responsibility department at Mount Apo, said that since they set foot and started their geothermal operations, one of their primary concerns is to uplift the deplorable condition of the tribal people in the area.

He noted that most of the natives have not gone to school. “They have very limited opportunity to learn,” he stressed.

Marubeni will turn to the Energy Development Corporation the operation and maintenance of the two geothermal power plants, which were originally constructed under a 50-50 equity sharing arrangement with the American firm Oxbow Power .

Maravilla said the project is under a 10-year energy conversion agreement to end this year.

Marubeni is now considered as the country’s largest foreign independent power producer, holding around 14 percent of the total installed plant capacities in the country. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)