P54-B needed for Agus-Pu­langi hy­dro plants re­hab: DOF

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS -

THE gov­ern­ment will re­quire ap­prox­i­mately P54 bil­lion to fi­nance the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Agus-Pu­langi hy­dro power plants of the Na­tional Power Corp. (Napocor) in Min­danao in a bid to in­crease ca­pac­ity and ex­tend ser­vice life by 30 more years, Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez III said.

Fol­low­ing a re­port by Napocor pres­i­dent Pio Be­navidez on the sta­tus of the plants, Dominguez said the tim­ing of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the fa­cil­i­ties was ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Let us do it now [be­cause] we are not un­der pres­sure,” Dominguez told Be­navidez at a re­cent Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (Ex­e­com) meet­ing of the De­part­ment of Fi­nance (DOF)

In re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing the fa­cil­i­ties, Be­navidez said at the Ex­e­com meet­ing that the gov­ern­ment needs to take ad­van­tage of the fact that there would be an ex­pected power over­sup­ply in Min­danao in the next three years.

Be­navidez said the Agus 6 fa­cil­ity will be re­ha­bil­i­tated first as it is the old­est fa­cil­ity, with the big­gest out­put. This would be fol­lowed by Agus 2 and Agus 7.

The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of units 3 to 5 of Agus 6 costs around $172.5 mil­lion; Agus 2, $207 mil­lion; Agus 7, $62.10 mil­lion; Agus 4 and 5, $245.07 mil­lion; Pu­langi 4, $293.25 mil­lion; and Agus 1, $92 mil­lion.

The to­tal es­ti­mated cost of re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing these fa­cil­i­ties is around $1.07 bil­lion or ap­prox­i­mately P54 bil­lion.

Be­navidez said these fa­cil­i­ties are cur­rently op­er­at­ing at around 60 per­cent of their over 900-megawatt rated ca­pac­ity.

He said the P54 bil­lion would fi­nance the re­place­ment of old trans­form­ers as well as the old elec­tri­cal equip­ment to make these fa­cil­i­ties more re­li­able.

The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion could take place from four to five years and would in­crease the to­tal ca­pac­ity by an av­er­age of 10 per­cent for each fa­cil­ity.

Af­ter the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, to­tal ca­pac­ity would reach more than 1,000 megawatts, he said.

Be­navidez said the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion should be done phase by phase be­cause the fa­cil­i­ties could not be shut down si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Agus 6 has been op­er­at­ing for 40 years, fol­lowed by Agus 2 (37 years) and Agus 7 (34 years). Other fa­cil­i­ties in­clude Agus 4, 5 and Pu­langi 4 (31 years) and Agus 1 (25 years).

In the past, pre­vi­ous steps were taken to main­tain these fa­cil­i­ties. These in­clude pe­ri­odic pre­ven­tive main­te­nance ser­vic­ing.

In a press brief­ing later, Dominguez said he and the other mem­bers of the Pres­i­dent's eco­nomic team had al­ready briefly dis­cussed with Chi­nese of­fi­cials the sec­ond bas­ket of projects for pos­si­ble ODA fi­nanc­ing, which in­cluded the Agus plants.

“We dis­cussed also the bas­ket of the next projects which is a bas­ket of about six or eight projects. Among them which is quite im­por­tant to us is the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Agus river hy­dro­elec­tric sys­tem,” Dominguez told re­porters.


MULTI-BIL­LION RE­HAB. The De­part­ment of Fi­nance said that the gov­ern­ment will re­quire ap­prox­i­mately P54 bil­lion to fi­nance the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Agus and Pu­langi hy­dro power plants of the Na­tional Power Corp. (Napocor) in Min­danao. File photo is Pu­langi 4 in Bukid­non.

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