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Progress expected in MP with hydro plant put–up
Harley F. Palangchao
Business, 4-13-2014


BONTOC, Mountain Province — The establishment of mini-hydro power plants by reputable companies will further boost economic activities and the economy of this landlocked province, a ranking official said over the weekend.

Mountain Province Gov. Leonard Mayaen told reporters his province has the biggest potentials in terms of investments on mini-hydros due to the vast tracks of forest cover.

“The forest covers remain to be one of our natural assets and mini-hydros are most welcome here because this project does not destroy the environment and no village will be submerged,” Mayaen said, adding they will assure water used in minihydros are directed back to the  river when run by established and capable companies.

The governor said Tadian, including areas in eastern side of the province, is a potential site for mini-hydro power plants.

He said the ongoing mini-hydro power plants by Hedcor, Inc. the leading run-off-river developer in the country, is expected to propel the economy of the province especially of the host villages in Sabangan.

The 14-megawatt hydro project worth P1.7 billion in Sabangan is capable of producing 55 million kilowatt hours per year.

The run-of-river Sabangan hydropower plant, the first Hedcor project in the province, is expected to be completed first quarter of 2015 and would last for a century.

Mayaen said while the province welcomes this venture, companies interested to invest and exploit the province’s resources should list the province as its business address so business and real property taxes and income will directly redound to the host barangay, municipality, and province.

Hedcor, a subsidiary of the AboitizPower, which has 19 plants in Benguet, Ilocos Sur, and Davao with a combined generation of 155MW, started to explore the viability of a hydropower plant after the Sabangan town council passed a resolution inviting the company to conduct a feasibility study test in the area.

But even with its potential for mini-hydros, the province is careful in dealing with supposed officers or representatives of companies with no good background or financial capabilities to construct one.

This landlocked province has numerous river systems with thickly forested covers which could be the potential sites of the mini-hydro power plants.

Based on data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 60 percent of the province’s over 200,000 hectares land area remains forested.



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