Firm plans to build 140-MW ‘run-of-river’ power plant in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 February)–Energy developer San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders and Developers Group, Inc. is planning to construct a 140-megawatt “run-of-river” hydropower plant that would harness electricity from the waters of the Davao and Tamugan rivers.

Councilor Louie John Bonguyan, chair of the council’s energy committee, confirmed during yesterday’s regular session that the proposed power project has already been referred to his committee.

Company officials attended the session to show the plan to members of the city council.

Oscar Violago, San Lorenzo Ruiz president and chief executive officer, said the project hopes to supply and address the power needs not only in Davao City but also the whole of Mindanao.

The development site would include Gumalang up to Lamanan, both in Calinan. A run-of-river power project involves redirecting river water to a weir and feeding it downhill to the power station.

According to a company presentation, the Department of Energy has already approved their timeline, with studies to start in 2014 and commercial operations targeted in 2019, depending on the completion of the application process.

A copy of the timeline showed the developer aims to conduct within this year a comprehensive feasibility study, as well as reconnaissance and studies on topography, hydrology and geology.

The developer also aims to apply for permits and endorsements to the local government unit of Davao City, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), and the National Water Resource Board (NWRB) this year.

Following the applications and studies the developer would be conducting this year, it is also targeting the comprehensive feasibility studies on the existing power market, as well as the socio-environmental impact, preliminary civil design, electrical facilities, and financial requirements come 2015.

Alongside these are the developer’s application for final permitting and endorsements from the NCIP, NWRB, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The company targets the conduct of a detailed study of the engineering design by 2016, along with the geotechnical and hydrological specifications, as well as the creation of access roads and trans line routes.

Detailed cost estimates and financial studies may also begin by this time, depending on the status of approval by the regulatory agencies as well as the city government. (MindaNews)