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NEDA OKs Mindanao power transmission projects

PIA Press Release
by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (26 September) -- Two power transmission projects in Mindanao and one in the Visayas were approved by the board of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The projects were endorsed by the NEDA Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)-Technical Board (TB) and Cabinet Committee (CC) to the NEDA board for costing with the objective of ensuring continuous supply power to the areas.

These projects are the P6.13 billion Abaga-Kirahon-Maramag 230kV Power Transmission Project, the P1.63 billion General Santos-Tacurong 138kV Transmission Line Project, and the P1.27-billion Wright-Calbayog 138kV Transmission Line Project.

According to the NEDA report together with the three transmission projects are three other energy related projects costing some a total of P17.4 billion.

It said that the ICC-TBA and CC approved the Philippine Energy Efficiency Project, which costs about P2.17 billion. This project aims to reduce government expenditure on electricity by 20 percent in pilot government buildings as well as average cost of production by electric cooperatives (ECs) by 10 percent. It also intends to increase the cooperatives' consumption by 10 percent from 2007 levels.

About P1.58 billion funding for the Project will be sourced from a loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB), P67.5 million from the ADB Clean Energy Fund grant, and the remaining P517.5 million will come from the Department of Energy's (DOE) counterpart.

Assistant Director General and NEDA Infrastructure Staff Director Ruben Reinoso in a statement reported to the ICC that the project will "reduce peak demand in ECs through consumer savings for each compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), reduce energy consumption in 42 public buildings by five percent from 2007 and recover residual mercury from fluorescent lights within 24 months to prevent from entering the food chain.
The components of the project are the National Residential Lighting Program and the creation of the Super Energy Service Company (ESCO). The lighting program involves the distribution of 13 million (13,14 and 15-watt) CFLs to residential and small commercial sectors that cover about 6.68 million households nationwide. The Super ESCO will be created as a subsidiary of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) under the DOE.

NEDA also endorsed the Credit Line Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection project in the Philippines proposed by the Land Bank of the Philippines. The credit line will be available to private sector companies and entities which are at least 70 percent Filipino-owned. Local government units (LGUs), National Government Agencies (NGAs) and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) may also avail of credit as sub-borrowers.

The ICC also approved the P4.52 billion Project on Forestland Management (ProFORM) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), which aims to rehabilitate degraded forestlands to uplift the socio-economic conditions of affected communities in 3 critical river basins - Upper Magat and Cagayan, Upper Pampanga and Javu River Basin. (PIA)

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