Aboitiz Power kicks off construction of 68.8-MW Bukidnon hydro plant

The next capacity addition in the hydropower portfolio of the Aboitiz Group will be its 68.8-megawatt Manolo Fortich hydro facility project which just kicked off construction recently.

The project will cost P12.5 billion and will be bankrolled 75-percent via loan procured from syndicate of banks.

The facility will be implemented by Aboitiz Power subsidiary –Hedcor Inc. – which has also painstakingly settled the issues with the Indigenous People’s group that will be affected by the project.

As laid down by the company, the project was designed to be of two cascading plants. The first phase will be of 43.4MW capacity; while the second phase will have 25.4MW capacity.

Dealing with the IP groups would typically be a dilemma for many hydropower projects in the country, but the Aboitiz group has emphasized that such had been one of the key concerns that they have resolved with their host communities.

According to Hedcor president and chief operating officer Rene Ronquillo, their company is “committed to take care of the environment in the construction and operation of the plant.”

He added that their operating principle revolved around what they refer to as 3Ps – and in essence, represents the: people, planet and profit.

“We take care of the people and the planet first; and then, profit afterwards,” Ronquillo has explained, as he also echoed their adherence to corporate social responsibility (CSR) sustainability precept of “we can do well by doing good.”

Aboitiz Power, in a statement to the media, has quoted tribal leader Datu Honorio Sumohoy that their project company had so far been accepted as “part of the tribal family,” with the chieftain emphasizing that “we don’t see them as just investors. They have given us CSR projects even if they have not have started their projects yet.”

The two phases of the Manolo Fortich hydropower facility are targeted on stream by years 2017 to 2018 and will add up to Hedcor’s expanding power capacity. – http://www.mb.com.ph

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