NIA, First Gen unit ink MOU on Nueva Ecija hydro plant
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a subsidiary of First Gen Corp. on a possible hydropower facility at the Aya Dam beside the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.
The NIA said in a statement the prospective project would complement the 132-megawatt Pantabangan-Masiway hydroeletric power plant that First Gen Hydro Power Corp. owns.
Pantabangan-Masiway has two components—the 120-MW Pantabangan plant and the 12- MW Masiway plant—that both harness water from the main Pantabangan Dam.
The smaller Aya Dam is just beside the main dam.
“In line with this, First Gen has requested NIA’s permission to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study of the project, including, but not limited to, legal, economic, social, financial, and technical viability, to which NIA has permitted the former to conduct the same,” the government agency said.
NIA added that the project, if it would prove feasible and would push through, would be pursued “through an acceptable scheme under existing laws, such as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, among others.”
Earlier, First Gen reported that in the first half of 2019, its hydropower subsidiary chalked up revenues at $33 million or about P1.7 billion, which was 43-percent higher year-on-year from $23 million in the same period of 2018.
This was attributed to an increase in the volume and price of electricity sold to the wholesale electricity spot market.
First Gen’s hydro plants account for 3 percent of the company’s total consolidated revenues.
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