First Gen’s 23-MW hydro power plant in Bukidnon up by 2015

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News.Net 25 Nov.) First Gen Hydroelectric Power Plant Corporation (FGMHPC) announced its plan to put up the 23-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric power plant in the municipality of Baungon, Bukidnon in the next three years.

“The power plant project is a run of river scheme which diverts portion of the river’s flow to the powerhouse to produce electricity,” said FGMHPC Project Manager Edel Rosario during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s regular session last week.

“This project will be operational late 2015 or an equivalent of 33 months of construction,” Rosario added.

Rosario said FGMHPC leases 57 privately-owned lands for this project.  He added that these lands are not residential areas.

Starting from the diversion weir where the portion of water will enter, it will run through the water conveyance or a concrete tunnel going to the powerhouse, Rosario explained.

He said barangays Kiliog of Libonan, Liburan and Imbatug in Baungon will be the three areas where the tunnel will run through.

Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Chief Felix S. Mirasol Jr. clarified that there will be no trees to be cut down during the implementation of the project since the tunnel will be placed in 30 to 100 meters below land surface.

On the other hand, Banahaw United Farmer Association president Mr. Eleno M. Tima-an Sr. said that they welcome the construction of the project.  Communities surrounding this project area will benefit the livelihood programs through the company’s corporate social responsibility programs.

Tima-an also stated that the company promised to help conserve the environment through their tree planting project and watershed protection program among others.

“We have already conducted public consultations with the host communities and tackled about the benefits they needed along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources concerns,” Rosario stated.

Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Datu Maida Magdalino Pandian raised his fear if there will be indigenous people affected.

Reyes cleared that they obtained a Certificate of Non-Lapping which signified that no rights of the Indigenous Peoples have been violated with the implementation of the project.

Rosario said that the realization of the Bubunawan River Project will contribute in minimizing power shortages in the province and will help sustain projects to the host communities.

Last month, major areas of Mindanao have experienced rotating brownouts for at least two hours because of Steag’s 210-MW coal power plant maintenance shutdown located in Misamis Oriental.

Energy officials have earlier said that Mindanao’s power grid is short in supplying the island’s power demand and may even fall short in the near term if no power plant will open to augment the electric capacity. (Rogielane Arombo/Bukidnon News.Net)