Options eyed for Agus


    The National Power Corp. (NPC) said the World Bank will submit in December the best option that it will implement in the planned rehabilitation of the government controlled Agus hydro power asset in Mindanao.

    Pio Benavidez, the state-run firm’s president and chief executive officer, told reporters last week among the options being considered are to retain the capacity of the plant; increase the capacity of the project by 10 percent; or widen the rivers that are part of the hydroelectric power plant.

    However, the most likely option is to retain the capacity of the plant as there may be oversupply problems if this is increased, Benavidez said on the sidelines of the Department of Energy and its attached agencies’ budget hearing at the Senate.

    He added that in the current timeline of the rehabilitation plan, the feasibility study will begin by March next year and the bidding for contractors will take place by the second half of 2020. The rehabilitation is expected to last for six years.

    “The rehab may now only cost around P30 billion to P35 billion since we also continued some efforts like changing of transformers and other equipment for us to save in the long run since you will also be loaning to fund that,” Benavidez said.

    Earlier, he had mentioned that the rehabilitation may require P37 billion to P40 billion.

    Benavidez also said the process has been slightly delayed as France, which is supposed to release funding for the rehabilitation project, supported the draft United Nations Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation on alleged massive human rights violations in the Philippines.

    Agus has a nameplate capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) but currently only has a dependable capacity of 700 MW.

    NPC is mandated to provide power generation and associated power delivery systems thru its Small Power Utilities Group power plants to islands and communities that are not connected to the main transmission grid.

    It is also tasked to oversee watersheds and locate indigenous sources of power.