BUGUIAS, Benguet – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) announced that its 3-megawatt Man-asok Minihydro Power Plant will be operational by the second quarter next year to help in providing additional sources of renewable energy to sustain cheap, affordable and reliable electricity for its member-consumer-owners.
BENECO Power Generations Department Manager Engr. Artemio Bacoco said that to date, the construction of the electric cooperative’s minihydro power plant is over 71 percent complete.
He added that ongoing works in the project site is the installation of power transmission lines, including delivery of 40-foot poles, digging of holes for the erection of the delivered poles, framing of primary structures, among other related works.
The BENECO official admitted there was a delay in the construction of the renewable energy plant as the construction activities started in November 2016 and was supposed to be completed and ready for commissioning in March 2020.
Among the major reasons for the delay in the completion of the project include the road-right-of-way conflicts in the project site, the revision of the detailed engineering plan due to the adjustments in the road-right-of-way, the delayed delivery of the equipment needed for the plant, the difficulty of travel of the hired consultant for the installation of the imported equipment for the plant, and other related reasons.
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According to him, one of the major problems being encountered by the electric cooperative in the speedy implementation of the project is the travel of their consultant from Austria to the Philippines following the implementation of stringent community quarantine protocols that make it difficult for him to travel to the country and oversee the completion of the project.
Earlier, BENECO obtained a P430-million credit line from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) which is being staggeredly drawn to finance the implementation of the electric cooperative’s renewable energy project in the municipality.
BENECO General Manager Engr. Melchor S. Licoben disclosed that to date, the electric cooperative draw some P270 million from its credit line with the government bank that was used for the various activities related to the put up of the 3MW minihydro power plant, one of its sources of renewable energy once the same will be operational.
It will be recalled that the indigenous peoples and indigenous cultural communities of barangays Sebang, Baculungan Norte, Amgaleygey, Lengawan and Poblacion and the municipal government gave their free and prior informed consent to BENECO for the put up of the 3-megawatt minihydro power plant in their ancestral domain using the old guidelines of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in the grant of consent to prospective developers of resources.
BENECO is expected to operate the minihydro power plant in 25 years and on the 26th year, the plant will be jointly-owned by the electric cooperative and the indigenous peoples in the host ancestral domain.
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