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$25-M tidal power plant in Samar eyed

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$25-M tidal power plant in Samar eyed

/ 12:50 AM June 16, 2017

Philippine firm H&WB Asia-Pacific Corp and French partner Sabella SAS are building a $25-million (P1.2 billion) 1.5-megawatt tidal power plant project that will provide 24/7 electricity to Capul, Northern Samar by 2019.

According to the two companies, this will be the first Tidal In-Stream Energy Conversion (Tisec) project not only in the country but also in Southeast Asia.

Tisec is the use of tidal energy from ocean tides to produce power. The project is expected to pave the way for the exploration and development of the country’s vast ocean energy resource.

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H&WB and Sabella, a global leader in the marine energy industries, have earlier signed a memorandum of agreement to build a tidal power plant in San Bernardino strait north of the Capul Islands, Northern Samar.

The $25-million estimated cost of the project covers three 500-kilowatt turbines and a storage, according to Kit Buenaventura, general manager for renewable energy projects of H&WB.

“The environmental impact assessment will be done in six months. We have local support and we should get a written endorsement letter in two months. A distribution impact study will be conducted by North Samelco. While studies are being done, we are doing our detailed engineering design,” Buenaventura said, saying the project would be finished by 2019.

The project was earlier planned to have a capacity of 4.5 MW. However, it was scaled down to 1.5-MW which was seen enough to provide the electricity requirement of the local residents.
At present, Capul is provided electricity for only 16 hours a day, according to Jean-Christophe Allo, business development manager of Sabella.

The project, according to proponents, aims to bring down the cost of power in the area or, at least, match the current cost of the diesel-power electricity in Capul which is at P22 per kilowatt-hour. —MA. CASELDA CRUZ

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