Philippines renewable energy investments include four hydropower plants

The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced this week four of the nine renewable energy projects it has approved include hydropower.

The DTI Board of Investment’s (BOI) renewable energy project approvals total about US$562 million. These projects qualified for incentives under the Renewable Energy Act No. 9513, which is covered in the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan under the list of Special Laws.

The proposed hydropower projects and their developer include:

Alsons Renewable Energy

Manilla-based Alsons Renewable Energy Corp. (AREC), a subsidiary of Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc., will construct and invest $70 million to develop a 15.1-MW hydropower project. The facility will be located on Siguil River in Barangay Amsipit and Nomoh, in the municipality of Maasim, Sarangani province on Mindanao.

A 20-person staff will operate the run-of-river plant, and it is scheduled to begin “formal operations” in August 2020, according to DTI. Water from Siguil River used for generation will return to the river and discharge into Sarangani Bay.

Repower Energy

Repower Energy Development Corp. is constructing the $31 million 6.2-MW Katipunan River small hydropower plant in Bukidnon. Repower is also developing two additional hydropower plants: the $21.6 million 4.4-MW Tibag River facility in Quezon province and the $41.4 million 10-MW Pulangui IV facility in Bukidnon.

DTI said these three plants will simultaneously start commercial operations in April 2019, and each plant will use 18 personnel for operations.

According to the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) Renewable Energy Roadmap 2017-2040, the country expects to have at least 20,000 MW of renewable energy installed by 2040.

In February 2016, reported “Alsons has a clear strategy for developing renewable energy, starting with hydropower,” according to Joseph Nocos, Alsons’ vice president for Business Development.

As of June 2017, renewable energy plants supplied about 7,038 MW of installed capacity in the country. This equates to 32.5% of the national output of 21,621 MW, according to data published by the DOE.

The addition of the new facilities will push the hydropower contribution to the country’s renewable energy percentage well over its current 51.7%.

Unrelated to the current approved facilities, AREC has plans for three additional hydro plants.

Nocos said after AREC constructs the Siguil River facility, the company plans to develop and build “a 40-MW plant in Negros along Bago River, and two more hydropower projects on Mindanao planned for the following two years.”

According to the DTI, “Production of renewable power is becoming cheaper and it is fast becoming a better alternative towards addressing power-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness in the economic development of our country, “said Ceferino Rodolfo, trade undersecretary and BOI managing head.

Under the approved plans: Ormoc Solar Energy Corp. is developing a solar project in Cavite and one in Pagbilao, Quezon; Ecopark Energy of Valenzuela Corp. is building a solar plant in Valenzuela City; and Nuevo Solar Energy Corp. is putting up two solar plants in Laguna, one each in Calauan and Lumban. 

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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