December 05 - December 11, 2005
THE ILOCOS TIMES - TOP NEWS

INEC set to put up another hydro plant
Existing hydro plant to be rehabilitated

To minimize the increase of power rates due to the implementation of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) and its expected increase by another two percent next year, the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) is planning to put up another hydro power plant in Pansian, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

The cooperative’s first hydro power plant, also located in Pagudpud, is also up for rehabilitation to maximize its energy-generating capacity.

These moves, according to INEC General Manager Romillas C. Pascual, would minimize the power rates increase that is set to be implemented shortly.

With this development, INEC said two business entities, AB Garcia Co. and Smith Belle Mini Hydro Corporation have signified their intention of constructing the new hydro power plant as well as the rehabilitation of INEC’s existing power plant in Pagudpud. The said companies said they would shoulder all the expenses in the construction and rehabilitation.

INEC though is still waiting for the two companies final offers before they decide on whom they will award the projects.

When the hydro plants become fully operational, they would exclusively supply INEC with electricity, which Pascual said would result in lower power rates.

Pascual added that the power rates from the hydro plants may even be lower than the rates being charged by Northwind Development Corporation (NWDC), operator of the windmill farm in Bangui. NWDC charges INEC seven percent less than the National Power Corporation’s rates.

Meanwhile, INEC Board of Directors President Lorenzo Rey Ruiz is hopeful that these proposals would be approved by the board soon as these would serve as mitigating measures for the continued surge of power rates.

However, Ruiz stressed that the proposals of the two companies would still be subjected to a thorough review and study by the coop’s committee on special projects.

He also assured that INEC would not release any amount for the said projects.

Dominic B. dela Cruz

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