One down, 2 shouldn’t go

Hedcor has decided to scrap one of three hydro power plants it intends to build in Marilog District due to delays in the project.

Rene Ronquillo, president of the Aboitiz “cleanergy” firm was quoted by the Philippine Star saying its board has decided to scrap the Suawan plant, part of the 34.5 megawatt Tamugan-Panigan-Suawan hydropower project estimated to cost P7 billion. The Suawan plant has a capacity of 7 mw.

The reason for the delay is the opposition of the local water utility, Davao City Water District. The delay is already two years. For us lay people, the dispute is easily resolvable as it pertains mainly on elevation, where water would be tapped by either Hedcor or DCWD, and not on a fundamental issue on the use or misuse of water resources. Technical solutions can certainly fix the problem and both parties have plenty of good engineers.

Further delays in the plans to build the hydro electric facilities to meet local energy shortage by 2010 might altogether scrap the two remaining plants. God forbid.

If the water utility continues to dilly dally, as I have shown in Septage the post below, here’s what I see in the future. Two years down the road, the water district will have to fend off two public anger – poor water service and the dreaded brownouts. Yup, I would squarely put the blame on DCWD if the city suffer from power shortages starting in 2010.

Related posts – Water wars

5:52 a.m.

4 Responses to “One down, 2 shouldn’t go”

  1. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Peter, do something. Why should this issue on power and water be just the concern of two corporations? Why o why o why?

  2. Marlita Quezon Says:

    Actually, the three plants can still be constructed somewhere else., not in the very place where the DCWD has prior rights.

    The Aboitiz Group can very well find more suitable places in the 2,444 Square kilometer area of Davao City.

    Why should they insist on the Tamugan / Panigan River system in the first place ? Is it because of their plan to take over the DCWD ? This is not the first time this happened.

    When DLPC was still under the able management of the late Luis Alfonso Y. Aboitiz, there was talk about a tie-up between the DCWD, the Aboitiz Group, and a French company that was willing to undertake the project which will
    really tap the entire river system to totally replace the Dumoy System, so that aside from saving the aquifier, the
    interest on the projected loan will pay for itself with the
    savings in electricity consumption by the DCWD.

    And the French Company will undertake the project on the
    power generation aspect., the French are the best experts
    in Hydro power technology, they were even surprised by the
    Agus River System has to be dammed, and why there were
    no generating turbines in the Maria Cristina Falls, meaning
    in the falls itself, so much power could be produced and utitlized.

    What happened to that mutually beneficial agreement?

    I will ask my energy management consultant to present a more detailed statement.

  3. ji Says:

    This is victory for DCWD…

    This will end the depedence of water utility to acquire power to pump out underground water. This future project in Tamugan river will bring down water to the Davao populace through gravity at a certain height above sea level. For the aboitizes, Davao has other river systems to dam on and build turbines to generate power. I think it will not be difficult for them to find another place to generate the same power.

  4. Hio Tiao Lim Says:

    You got somewhat inaccurate there Ji;

    DCWD will not end its dependence on electric power to pump out underground water, the Tamugan Surface Water Project will only reduce its groundwater extraction by 40 – 50 percent, and the project is going to serve the additional
    customers in the 2nd and 3rd district.

    Straining the groundwater aquefiers will really lead to a crisis with 4 years.

    Yes, you are right in saying that there are many other sources of run-of-river sites in this 2,440 square kilometer
    city we are in.

    I will be communicating with the management of Aboitiz Power Corporation in this regard.

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