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Catanduanes Hydropower Project Gets P860-M loan

The estimated P860-million mini-hydro electric power plant projects in Solong, Kapipian and Hitoma in the province of Catanduanes is now 65 percent complete, Sunwest Water and Electric Co. (Suweco) president Jose Silvestre Natividad said.

This swift accomplishment was carried out even though Suweco stalled its bank loan and waited for the interest to come down before it availed of the loan since the April 2008 Department of Energy (DoE) approval of its operating contract. Investments and construction came first prior to any funding and financial closing from banks, civil works had been done at a very early time and all electro-mechanical items have already been purchased and ready for shipment anytime. All these were carried out from the company’s own internally generated funds,
Natividad stressed.

Suweco’s previous plan was to complete the project using its own funds but due to the present decrease of interest rates, it opted to avail of the financing from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) in order to suffice the necessary financial requirements of as well as the other MHP with a total capacity of 107 megawatts (MW).

With Suweco’s very strong commitment being an affiliate of Sunwest Group of Companies, the PNB on Feb. 27, 2009 approved the loan on project financing which was based solely on the project’s profitability and project viability.

It can be noted that the operating contract of the 3 MHPs in Catanduanes was signed by the DoE on April 2008 and was recently approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission. In an earlier date, another Suweco renewable energy project, the Villasiga MHP was also approved of its operating contract on June 2008.

PNB president Omar Mier said during the signing ceremony that,
This is a great manner of asserting PNB’s commitment on encouraging private energy players to go invest in renewable energy. We strongly believe in Suweco’s thrust and objective of providing a cheap, reliable and environment-friendly energy to fossil fuel-dependent islands in the Philippines.
Souce: The Daily Tribune

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