Aboitiz to open 2 hydropower plants in Bukidnon by 2013

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/21 February) — The Aboitiz Power Corporation will open two run of river hydropower plants in southern Bukidnon, Sebastian Lacson, APC vice president said in a briefing.

Lacson announced that the firm is building the plants in Sita and Simod rivers in Kitaotao town and that these will be completed in 2013. He said the plants will run at 18 and 12 megawatts, respectively.

He said the APC is has 55 power projects being built around Mindanao, including two in Tudaya, Davao del Sur.

Lacson said they have already started the pre-development requirements with local stakeholders.

APC is also proposing a 300-MW coal-fired power plant in Davao City which has met strong opposition from environment groups.

During the Bukidnon Power Summit last month, the provincial officials and the electric power cooperatives in the province asked the National Power Corporation and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) to meet their power demand first before feeding power supply from the proposed Pulangui IV hydropower plant to the Mindanao grid.

Gov. Alex Calingasan convened the summit to assert that Bukidnon should be prioritized in the allocation of power supply following the Department of Energy’s department circular no. 2010-10-0211 ordering NPC-PSALM to “fully utilize all available capacities of hydroelectric power plants in Mindanao for energy purposes.”

Bukidnon hosts the Pulangui hydropower plants.

DoE’s order also told the NPC and PSALM to finalize the bilateral contract allocations to allow distribution utilities and electric cooperatives to determine the volume of energy they can buy from them or from other generating companies.

Forecast energy needs for Bukidnon from 2011 to 2015 stand at 66.88 megawatts – 32.23 MW for First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative and 34.65 MW for the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative (Buseco).

But Buseco said that based on recent arrangements Bukidnon will only be allocated 44.6 MW. The 22.25-MW deficit has to be bought from other power generators.

The actual production of Pulangui IV is estimated at 97 MW.
Lacson said they will build first the hydropower dams and address the concern in due time. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)