Confirmation of Asin hydro contract pressed

MAYOR Mauricio Domogan last week urged members of the City Council to immediately act on the pending confirmation of the memorandum of agreement between the local government and Kaltimex Energy Philippines.

Kalitmex was the winning bidder for the operation of the city-owned Asin minihydro-power plants which Domogan hopes to maximize the benefits of the operation of the power plants.

The local chief executive said there are reports that the proponent of the resumption of operation of the Asin minihydro power plants is allegedly planning to withdraw from the contract because it has been more than one year and six months but the confirmation of the contract has not yet been confirmed by the local legislative body.

"We have to make sure the local government will be maximizing the benefits it will derive from the operation of the Asin minihydro power plants that is why the City Council must already confirm the pending contract so that the developer will start paying the city the agreed amount while it is working on the issuance of the necessary permits to operate," Domogan stressed.

It took four failures of bidding by the Special bids and Awards Committee over a three-year period before the maintenance and operation of the city-owned power plants was awarded to Kaltimex Energy Philippines which was declared as the lone complying and responsive bidder.

Domogan added Kaltimex will start paying the local government the sum of P18 million over a six-month period after the confirmation of the contract by the local legislative body which is empowered to confirm such agreements.

It can be recalled that the Benguet Electric Cooperative stopped purchasing the power produced by the Asin minihydro power plants in October 2012 after the local government was not able to secure the required certificate of compliance from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The contract was submitted by Domogan to the City Council for confirmation early last year but it was not acted upon and was overtaken by events up to the present.

Under the agreement, Kaltimex is obliged to secure the pertinent permits required by concerned government agencies and the host communities prior to the implementation of the rehabilitation and the subsequent operation of the city-owned power plants that have a capacity of at least 4.2 megawatts of renewable energy.

The confirmation of the local legislative body on the contract is the only thing being awaited by the developer so that it will start improving the power plants for it to be able to produce at least 8 megawatts of renewable energy that will also mean increase in the benefits of host communities among others.

Domogan explained the possible withdrawal of the development from the agreement will bring the city back to the drawing board which will mean that it will not be able to maximize the operation of the power plants to produce renewable energy and grant benefits to host communities among others. (Dexter See/PIO)


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