Construction of the US$900 million 300-MW Pulangui V Hydroelectric Power Plant will start soon as pre-development of the project is almost finished, after which construction of the dam would follow, according to Engineer Cerael C. Donggay, president of Greenergy Development Corp. and over-all manager of Pulangi 5 hydropower plant project.

As reported, investors are already starting to pour in their investments such as the Zhe Jiang Corporation of China and Applied Engineering Services based in the United States.

The hydroelectric power plant is a joint project of Greenergy Development Corporation and First Bukidnon Electric Service Cooperative (Fibeco).

The dam will be constructed at the Kulaman-Pulangui River Junction in Damulog, Bukidnon and President Roxas, Cotabato.

The project’s source is Pulangui River, the longest river in Bukidnon and the biggest tributary of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, which has its headwaters in the mountains of Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon. The water drains to Cotabato City by traversing approximately 373 kilometers.

The project is seen to provide much cheaper generation cost at only P4/kwh. However, it is expected to affect at least 22 barangays, five municipalities and two provinces in Bukidnon and Cotabato.

Residents in the affected barangays would be given benefits such as job opportunities, agricultural and livelihood training, and provision of free seedlings of rubber, coffee, abaca fruits and bamboo. Aside from this, he added that residents would also be given supplementary income for duck production and tourism-related job opportunities.

Donggay added the project would also construct an IP Cultural Center and a training center for the IPs, provide scholarships to deserving IP students, construct health clinics and “botika sa barangay, among other programs.

Last year, the project team already conducted a series of orientation to each affected barangay and invited IP tribal leaders and families for a visit to the existing hydro-power plant projects in Maramag, Bukidnon for them to personally see the benefits of the project.

As of present, Donggay said 18 barangays have already given their consent to the project.

This project will surely alleviate the power crisis in Mindanao but the environmental issues associated with the project will have to addressed accordingly.

with article from Nicole Managbanag of Sun Star

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