RENEWABLE power company Hydrogène de France (HDF) Energy Asia is setting up its first project in the Philippines, which will initially provide energy to the Olutanga Island in the southern part of the country.
The municipalities of Olutanga, Talusan, and Mabuhay on the island, which is under the Zamboanga Sibugay province, will serve as pilot areas for the Olutanga Hydrogen Renewable Power Plant.
HDF inked an agreement on May 6 with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), distributor Zamboanga del Sur II Electric Cooperative, the OLTAMA (Olutanga, Talusan, and Mabuhay) Development Alliance, and the city government of Pagadian for the venture.
Mathieu Geze, president and director of HDF Energy Asia, said they will still conduct a study of the project, especially the water source for the plant.
French Ambassador to the Philippines Michéle Boccoz said the power plant is expected to contribute to the development of Zamboanga Sibugay and Mindanao as a whole by providing non-intermittent and clean energy to the area.
“I am sure that this project will pave the way to new partnership opportunities as HDF Energy is currently developing its pipeline of projects across Mindanao,” she said in her message during the signing ceremony held in Davao City.
“As we must now address major challenges such as climate change thus it is particularly adequate to suit the needs and the geography of southern Philippines,” Ms. Boccoz said.
The facility is estimated to cost $50 million and will be built on a 50-hectare property in Talusan.
MinDA Chair Maria Belen S. Acosta said they are aiming to bring more renewable power technology to other off-grid areas in Mindanao.
“Aside from this project, there are more coming for local government units in Mindanao. We’re starting it and later on all these areas in Mindanao that really need power will be connected and will have their own,” she said.
Meanwhile, S&E Solutions Co. Ltd. of Korea is eyeing to establish a hydrogen power plant in the town of Montevista in Davao de Oro.
Montevista Mayor Cyrex L. Basalo’s engineer consultant, Cirilo C. Basalo, said the proposed project will be sourcing water from the municipality’s rivers and creeks.
“We have a lot of water. We have the Manat River, some creeks, Saug River. We can always use that, and we can also do some drilling for the water source,” Mr. Basalo said during the AFP-PNP Press Corps media briefing last week.
Lawyer Tong Soo Chung of S&E Solutions said the green energy project will have no carbon dioxide emission.
“This is an environmentally friendly project. This is green energy. We process the water through hydrolysis, we process it in hydrogen power,” Mr. Basalo added.
The signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Montevista local government and the company is already being planned.
“As far as Davao de Oro is concerned, we have a big problem with our power supply and the high electricity cost. I believe if this hydrogen power plant will materialize, I think the cost of electricity will go down,” said Mr. Basalo.
The plant is seen to generate an initial 10 megawatts (MW), with a potential capacity of up to 50 MW. — Maya M. Padillo