P2.7-B hydropower project breaks ground in Bukidnon

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A hydropower project in Bukidnon that is targetted to generate over 74 gigawatt hours annually through a 10.6 megawatts (MW) run-of-river Hydropower plant in the Pulanai River broke ground on December 9.

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This joint project of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Pure Energy Holdings Corporation’s subsidiary Repower Energy Development Corporation (REDC) will be built at a cost of P2.7 billion.

Meralco and REDC have formed a joint venture company, Pure Meridian Hydropower Corporation (PMHC) to oversee and operate the Pulanai Hydropower Project located in Lumbayao, Valencia City, Bukidnon Province.

The three hydropower plants that REDC is currently operating was built by the Americans and has been running for 90 years. PMHC officials said that once the the Pulanai hydropower plant becomes operational, it will be able to supply clean, sustainable, and renewable energy to the Mindanao Grid for the next 100 years.

“This will be PMHC’s vanguard project in Mindanao and will serve as a platform to roll out more run-of-river projects in the near future. This is a legacy project that we are building for the benefit of the next generations.” PMHC President/CEO and Pure Energy Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO Dexter Y. Tiu said.

Construction will start soon and the hydropower plants will be commissioned by the first half of 2019. This project will also employ more than 400 people during its construction phase.

Once energized, the power plant will also generate millions of pesos in revenues for the local government units as part of its share based on the Renewable Energy Act.

“Our investment in Pulanai Mini Hydro is a manifestation of our firm support for the development of the renewable energy sector. We are also glad to note that this initiative will provide the much needed additional capacity in the Mindanao grid through a stable, clean and reliable energy source,” PMHC Chairman and Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo S. Panlilio said.

REDCwas established in 2013 to address the country’s need for additional investments in the renewable energy sector. Its goal was to build and operate more low impact run-of-river hydropower plants all over the country.

Meralco is the largest electric distribution company in the Philippines covering 36 cities and 75 municipalities, including Metro Manila. It’s franchise area of over 9,337 kms covers the core of the country’s industrial, commercial, and population centers serving more than 6 million customers by the end of 2015. It has a market capitalization of US$7.7 billion.

The Pulanai Mini Hydropower Projectis the first of several PMHC projects to begin construction.This is Meralco’s first foray into renewable energy and in run-of-river mini hydropower.

This is its third mini hydropower plant that REDC broke ground this year, and its first in Mindanao.The company has 3 operational run-of-river hydropower plants in Laguna that will see its capacities increase by more than four-fold next year.

The ground breaking ceremony was graced by President Rodrigo Duterte, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and Mayor Azucena Huervas of Valencia City.

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