THE power crisis in Mindanao would not hamper the ongoing construction of the Laguindingan airport, the project’s engineer assured.

Engr. Delia Capicenio, project manager of the Laguindingan Airport Project Development (LAPD), said the construction would be completed on schedule despite the power shortage in Mindanao.

The Misamis Oriental 1 Rural Electric Service Cooperative (Moresco 1) earlier said it would not be able to meet the power demands of the airport because the National Grid rejected its request for additional power.

But “there is sufficient power for the construction of the Laguindingan airport,” Capicenio told The Gold Star Daily during the Department of Telecommunications and Transportation’s (DOTC) ‘‘Ulat ng Bayan’’ here on Monday.

Capicenio said the capacity of Moresco 1, contrary to its own pronouncements, is adequate.

The DOTC and Moresco 1 have yet to sign an agreement that once the airport becomes operational in 2012, the facility would increase its power capacity to 10 mva. Capicenio said 4 mva would be provided by Moresco 1 to LAPD.

For its operation, LAPD needs some 1.4 megawatts per month, Capicenio said.

Capicenio said even with the rotation brownouts brought about by the El Niño, LAPD can still operate due to its three diesel-fed standby generators.

In the event of a power outage, Capicenio said there would only be a two-minute delay before they could switch to their standby generators.

Meanwhile, Capicenio reported that as of Feb. 14, the Laguindingan airport is now 57.89 percent complete, and ahead of schedule by .47 percent. The breakdown:

  • construction of cargo terminal, 5.55 percent complete;
  • construction of crush fire and rescue building, 12.5 percent complete;
  • construction of administration building, 4.5 percent complete;
  • construction of powerhouse building, 12.74 percent complete; and
  • runway is now 71.92 percent complete.

Capicenio said it is still possible for President Arroyo’s plane to land at the airport before she steps down this year.

Capicenio said the P229.133 million 4.4-kilometer access road from the highway to the airport has recently been completed.

Hanjin Heavy Industries Inc. is the airport project contractor. The access road was built by Vicente T. Lao Construction.

The airport’s funding comes from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF)-Republic of Korea, US$30.50 million; Export-Import Bank of Korea, US$62.75 million. The government’s counterpart is US$60.36 million.

Capicenio said the funding for air navigation facilities, costing US$13.38 million, is still being finalized.

article by Jigger Jerusalem of Gold Star Daily

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