THE US Embassy in the Philippines announced the P16 million worth of grant to First Gen Mindanao Hydro Power Corporation (FGMHPC) to finance the feasibility study for a 14-20 megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric power plant in the municipality of Cabadbaran in Agusan Del Norte.

“The feasibility study is part of the US commitment to support the Philippines in its efforts to develop renewable energy sources and to increase electrification across the country,” said US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas.

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Upon completion, the project is expected to help improve access to electricity for 20,000 to 28,000 households in Northern Mindanao.

For its part, the FGMHPC welcomed the granting of financial assistance, saying it will help the region avoid a repeat of the power crisis it recently experienced.

“The grant will definitely help in providing additional supply of power to the Caraga Region of Mindanao following the brownouts and power outages it suffered,” said FGMHPC President Francis Giles Puno.

The US embassy noted that it chose First Gen as the recipient since it has the vast experience in the operations and development of hydroelectric projects such as the 122-megawatt Pantabangan-Masiway hydro plant in Luzon and the 1.6- megawatt plant in Bukidnon.

It was just last March when then president Gloria Arroyo declared a power crisis in Mindanao due to the worsening effects of the El Niño phenomenon. (AMN/Sunnex)