Monday, May 28, 2012

Negros gov’t sets aside funding for planned hydropower plant

Business World Online
Posted on May 28, 2012 09:51:04 PM

BACOLOD CITY -- The provincial government of Negros Occidental has set aside funds for the construction of a 1.36-megawatt hydropower plant in Mambukal Resort, Barangay Minoyan, Murcia town.

The P260 million was included in a supplemental budget approved by the provincial board last week.

Board Member Salvador Escalante (2nd district), chairman of the committee on finance, said the project is part of the plan to make the province self-sufficient in power supply.

Excess output will be sold by the province as Mambukal Resort requires only 0.8 MW.

Mr. Escalante said the local government is preparing for the bidding process, and the goal is to complete the project between March and April next year.

"We are expecting a return on investment in six years and three months," he added.

Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. had earlier said using the German technology appeared to be more favorable. About a year ago, German national Hannes Mueller, director of Hydrotec Renewables Inc., proposed to construct a mini hydropower plant for the resort.

Mr. Mueller said the technology will use water before it reaches the Mambukal falls to generate power, and will not alter the natural feature of the falls.

Also in Murcia last March, a mini-hydro power plant capable of producing three kilowatts for households was installed in Barangay Sta. Cruz. It is a pilot project for the Small Scale Hydro Power Plant Initiative undertaken by Korean companies Bio CDM, Tae-Chang N.E.T. Co. Ltd. and Eco Pioneer Philippines Corp. with partner Prism Import-Export, Inc.

Eco Pioneer project manager Young Taek Jeon said the facility is a low-head power plant that requires only a river current or tidal flow of 20 meters to produce energy.

"Using the current of a river or the naturally occurring tidal flow to create electricity may provide a renewable energy source that will have a minimal impact on the environment," Mr. Young said. -- Nanette L. Guadalquiver    source

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