Finally, P2.6-B rehab of Mindanao’s Agus power plant set

Rappler.com
The bidding for the much-awaited rehabilitation works on one of the Agus hydroelectric power plants will likely take place in either January or February 2013, and will be completed in 30 months

POWER REHAB. The task of improving the generating capacity of Mindanao's key hydroelectric power plants finally moving along

MANILA, Philippines – A portion of a facility that accounts for over half of the Mindanao region’s power supply is set for rehabilitation works to improve its generating capacity.

On Wednesday, December 3, state-run National Power Corp president Froilan Tampinco said the bidding for the much-awaited rehabilitation project of one of the Agus hydroelectric power plants will likely take place in either January or February 2013.

“We will be announcing the new bidding schedule within the rest of the year,” he told reporters, adding that the approved budget for the rehabilitation works is still P2.6 billion.

The 59-year-old Agus power plant was commissioned in 1953.

The rehabilitation project involves replacing the main equipment of the two generating units of the Agus 6 power facility, so the plant’s useful life could be extended by another 30 years and its generating capacity increased to about 70 megawatt from the current 20 megawatt.

The Agus-Pulangi complex hosts hydroelectric facilities next to the Maria Cristina falls in Iligan City. It used to supply almost 1,000 megawatts but its capacity has since deteriorated to just about 600 megawatts.

Tampinco said the rehabilitation itself could take place around 3 months after the bidding, would be done in phases, and would not result in a shutdown of the hydropower plant, which is supply the already energy-starved Mindanao region.

The repairs would take 30 months,” President Benigno Aquino III told Mindanao stakeholders in March.

He had said the plant’s mechanical parts are good for only 30 years before replacement and that “they [previous administrations] should have fixed this long ago so that I would not have deal with it now.”

However, this rehabilitation project was initially set to start in June and finish by December 2014. Delays were due to the decision of the government to fund the rehabilitation on its own through the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (Psalm), the agency tasked by law to privatize Napocor’s assets and manage its liabilities.

Tampinco said PSALM now had to secure the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) so it could borrow from the government to finance the project. – Rappler.com