Jica extending grant for 2 hydro plants in Philippines
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is providing the Philippine government a grant that will be used to put up two mini-hydropower plants in Ifugao and Isabela.
In a briefing on Monday, Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. said Jica was planning to put up an 800-kilowatt mini-hydropower facility in Ifugao, which will help serve about a third of the 2.4-megawatt demand for power in the province. Jica plans to put up another 150-kilowatt hydropower plant in Isabela.
Both facilities will be embedded, meaning these will be directly connected to the electric cooperatives, and are slated for completion by 2015, according to Layug.
He, however, did not disclose the amount involved, as Jica was still finalizing the details of the two power projects.
Estimates show that to produce a megawatt of hydro resources will cost at least $2.5 million.
Layug said the multilateral agency was planning to start the construction of the power plants by the second quarter of next year.
The projects may also be entitled to feed-in-tariff rates, provided Jica will submit the necessary documents for qualification.
The plan, according to Layug, is for Jica to build the hydropower plants and operate them at the start while the host local governments are being prepared for the eventual turnover.
The Department of Energy has committed to help oversee the operation and maintenance of the said facilities.
Jica earlier conducted a study on prospective sites for hydropower projects in the country. These sites may be offered to the private sector through a bidding similar to the Philippine Energy Contracting Round.—Amy R. Remo
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