Skip to main content

Catanduanes Gears Up for All-Green Energy

The long craggy road on the side of a mountain leading to Barangay Obi in this third class municipality speaks volumes of how naturally rich yet economically depressed this side of the island province could be.

But a multimillion-peso investment, a 1.5-megawatt hydropower plant, down the rough village road sparks hope not just for its nearby communities but also for the entire island province.

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua said the hydropower facility of the Sunwest Water and Electric Company, Inc. which is now being commissioned and will soon be inaugurated, will finally help stabilize the power situation in the province and at the same time create opportunities for investments.
Power here is unstable mainly because the old engines (of the government-owned power generation facilities) are always in trouble and the transmission lines are defective,

Cua said.

These technical problems result in power shortage, which requires frequent load shedding and rotating brownouts, mostly affecting provincial outskirts.
The provincial government cannot do anything because we are dependent on the NPC (National Power Corporation) and the Ficelco (the local power cooperative in the province),
Cua said.

Economic zone

Cua added that the commissioning of Suweco’s Obi hydropower plant can help realize his administration’s vision to create an economic zone for Catanduanes.

If there is stable power supply and if we can work to make energy cheaper, we can invite business investors and create new industries. For example, we can host an ice plant and export ice if we have cheaper energy,

Cua said.

Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento said Suweco’s hydropower projects will help address the island’s power problem by providing a more stable supply of electricity.
Hopefully, the regular brownouts in the island will be resolved and that power rates will also decrease,
Sarmiento said.

He added that power stability is one of the keys to boost investments as well as tourism and business activities in the island province.

The Obi power facility is the first of three hydropower plants on Suweco’s pipeline. The other one in Barangay Solong in San Miguel town is on the final phase of testing while the one in Barangay Paraiso in the same town is yet to be constructed.

Altogether, the three power plants are seen to meet 100 percent of the island’s 6.5-megawatt power demand and, when this happens, Catanduanes will be the first province in the country to fully rely on green energy,

said Suweco president Jose Sylvestre Natividad.

Elizaldy S. Co, chairman of the board of the Sunwest Group of Companies, said that Suweco’s hydropower plants will help lessen the national government’s spending on missionary electrification by P80 million to P100 million yearly.
By providing renewable energy, we also help save the environment by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from conventional oil-based energy sources,

Co said.

The First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc., the only power distributor in the province with over 35,000 consumers is hopeful on Suweco that it will resolve the island’s power supply deficiency.

Aurora Roxanne Tabirara said that though the 315 villages in all 12 towns are 100 percent energized, there is usually a lack of power supply because of the deficient power generation facilities.

Power deficiency

Edwin Tatel, cluster head of the Catanduanes Grid of the National Power Corp.’s Small Power Utilities Group, earlier said the maximum system demand last July was 7 megawatts during peak hours, with an off-peak demand of 5 megawatts.

Catanduanes, with its 232,000 inhabitants, has a power demand that grows 10 percent annually.

The island’s generating system is composed of two diesel power plants in Bato and Viga, the Balongbong hydropower plant, Power Barge 110, four mobile gensets rented from Monark and a 3.6-MW bunker-fuel genset operated by the private company Catanduanes Power Generation Inc.

Suweco’s P314-million hydropower plant in Barangay Solong in San Miguel has a rated capacity of 2.1 MW while its P213-million plant in Barangay Obi in Caramoran has a rated capacity of 1.5 MW

Revenues and employment

Caramoran Mayor Agnes Popa said the Suweco hydropower plant will significantly increase the revenues of her municipality of 26,000 residents and uplift its economy by opening doors for future investments.

She added that the hydropower plant helped generate hundreds of jobs for the locals, who would mainly rely on farming and fishing.

As power becomes more stable and as we work in partnership with the private sector to improve infrastructure, I believe more investments will come. Then we can also start developing ecotourism sites in our municipality,

Popa said in a phone interview.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 06 October 2010

Popular posts from this blog

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Japanese Retirement Village in the Philippines

The Philippines is being eyed as a prime medical, health care and retirement destination for Japanese. According to studies, one out of four people in Japan will be aged 65 by 2020, from one out of six in 2000. Now is the best time to set up the retirement village for Japanese as baby boomers will start retiring in 2007. Several notable Japanese companies have already initiated building medical and retirement havens in the Philippines. These include Sanyo Emeritus Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Sanyo Electric and Emeritus Corp. of Seattle, which provides "assisted living" services in the US and Canada; as well as Tokushukai Medical Corp., Japan's largest hospital chain, which is putting up a $100 million, 1000-bed hospital in the Philippines, targeting elderly Japanese citizens. The Philippines is highly regarded because of its mild climate enjoyed by Japanese, its close proximity to Japan, the high quality of the Philippines' healthcare workforce, and the sign…

A Fresh Look At Siling Labuyo

Siling labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataract, and macular degeneration. This was stressed by Dr. Evelyn B. Rodriguez, professor from the Institute of Chemistry at the University of the Los BaƱos (UPLB) in a seminar on indigenous plants for health and wellness at the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) during its 19th National Research Symposium and in celebration of the 8th National Agriculture and Fisheries R&D Week. Also known as the chili pepper, siling labuyo is among the indigenous plants that the Department of Agriculture (DA) promotes through the "Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness RDE Program” of BAR. The said program aims to promote and highlight the importance of indigenous plants and its products. The fruit of siling-labuyo is a popularly used as a spicy and chili condiment while its leaves are usually consumed as vegetables. In medicinal terms, the labuyo fruit was earlier utiliz…

Catandungan Festival 2009 Winners

Winners of this year's Catandungan Festival held at Virac Catanduanes last October 22-24. And included are videos available for now on sharing sites. Post will be updated once related multimedia is available. Festival of Festivals Showdown: Streetdancing CompetitionChampion – Paray Festival (Viga) - P 100, 000.001st Runner Up – Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 75, 000.002nd Runner Up- Badas Festival (Baras) - P 50, 000.00Special AwardsBest in Moving Choreography - Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 15,000.00Best in Costume – Paray Festival (Viga) - P 15,000.00People’s Choice Award- Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 10,000.00PBM Shirley A. Abundo - Event Chair Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia - Co-Chair Agri-Industrial and Technology FairPinaka for Abaca ( biggest and tallest) - Winner - Avelino T. Tapel – P 1,000.00Best in Abaca Stripping1st Prize – Dante Dominguez - P 1,500.00Second Prize - Alberto Tayamora - P 1,000.00Conventional Stripping1st Prize – Socito Ragos - P 1,500.00Second Prize- Alber…