THE government needs P34 billion to rehabilitate and raise the capacity of the Agus-Pulangui hydropower complex in Mindanao, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said part of the discussions during an executive committee meeting with government-owned and –controlled corporations on Tuesday was the rehabilitation of the power plant complex.
“What we discussed was the rehabilitation of the Agus river system, which is the right time to do now because we have an excess power in Mindanao,” he told reporters.
The Agus Power Plant Complex consists of six cascading power plants snaking from the mouth of Lake Lanao in Marawi City down to the majestic Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City. Strategically located along the Agus River, the hydroelectric facility helps fuel the economy of Mindanao by providing steady supply of cheap and reliable electricity. These hydroelectric power plants within the complex are Agus I, Agus II, Agus IV, Agus V, Agus VI and Agus VII.
Dominguez said the hydropower complex is only operating at 40 percent capacity and would be better if the repairs can be done while it still has enough output.
“With that, we would need P34 billion for the rehabilitation of the Agus system,” he said. The rehabilitation will raise the capacity of the system close to 100 percent from 40 percent.
The hydropower complex produces 700 to 800 megawatts, and is currently Mindanao’s cheapest power source at P2.70 per kilowatt hour.
The rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangui complex will cover the various components of Agus 6 Unit 4. Pulangui 4 must undergo selective dredging, and the Balo-I Plains Flood Control Project.
The project has been lined up for official development assistance funding for China. It will be able to bring the power to Visayas and complete the national grid, Dominguez noted.
“If you can fix the Agus, then it will be a good power base for interconnecting the whole Philippine grid,” he added.