THE PROPONENT of a P3.3-billion hydropower project in Davao Oriental’s Caraga town is eyeing to start construction by January, according to the provincial governor.
Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon said she met last week with representatives of the Caraga A2 Hydro Power Corp., previously named Volga Power Corp., and was informed that the company has completed the main requirements for renewable energy project.
“For several years since the project was started in 2014, the company has already secured the initial requirements, such as Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC), endorsements from the municipal and barangay LGU (local government unit), and the feasibility study, while the processing of other requirements are currently ongoing,” she said in a statement.
The proposed Caraga A2 Hydroelectric Power Project will consist of three mini-hydropower plants with a total capacity of up to 20.9 megawatts. It will be a run-of-the-river facility using the Caraga River.
This is “truly a welcome development,” Ms. Malanyaon said, noting that it is aligned with her administration’s policy of pursuing renewable energy sources to energize the province’s remote communities.
“Aside from generating enough power to provide electricity to households and local industries, the project is also anticipated to provide employment opportunities to villages and residents of nearby barangays during the construction and operational phase,” Volga Power consultant Meriam Buguis said as quoted in the statement.
The facility will require 360 skilled workers during the construction phase and 15 personnel for operations, based on the Environmental Impact Assessment report submitted by the company to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao Region office.
Caraga A2 Hydro Power Corp. is aiming to complete construction by 2025, and have an initial operational contract for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.
Caraga is a coastal town on the eastern side of the Mindanao mainland with a population of about 40,000 as of 2020. Its economy is mainly driven by coconut products, among other agricultural goods.
The first class municipality is also home to eco-tourism and heritage sites such as the Caraga Lagoon, Pusan Point, and the San Salvador Church Bell Tower built in 1802. — MSJ