The rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi hydro power plants in Mindanao — a project the Philippines wants China to fund — will cost around P54 billion, the Finance department said.
“Let us do it now [because]we are not under pressure,” Dominguez said in a statement on Friday where he also noted that rehabilitation would increase the country’s power supply and extend the power plants’ service life.
Napocor President Pio Benavidez was quoted as having said in a recent meeting that the government needed to take advantage of an expected Mindanao power oversupply in the next three years.
Benavidez said the Agus VI facility should be rehabilitated first as it was the oldest facility with the biggest output.
This would be followed by Agus II and Agus VII.
The rehabilitation of units 3 to 5 of Agus VI is expected to cost $172.5 million; Agus II, $207 million; Agus VII, $62.10 million; Agus IV and V, $245.07 million; Pulangi IV, $293.25 million; and Agus I, $92 million.
In peso terms, the total cost will be approximately P54 billion.
Benavidez said the facilities were currently operating at around 60 percent of their rated capacity of more than 900 megawatts.
Rehabilitation could take four to five years, he said, resulting in an average 10 percent gain in capacity.
The Finance department said Agus VI had been operating for 40 years, followed by Agus 2 (37 years) and Agus 7 (34 years). Agus IV, V and Pulangi IV have notched 31 years while Agus I has been operational for 25 years.
Earlier this week, Dominguez said he and other members of economic team had raised the possibility of China funding a second basket of infrastructure projects.
“Among them, which is quite important to us, is the rehabilitation of the Agus river hydroelectric system,” Dominguez told reporters.