Perspective of the PHP3.3 billion hydropower project to be established in Caraga, Davao Oriental. (Photo courtesy of Davao Oriental PIO)

DAVAO CITY – Residents of Caraga town in Davao Oriental province will soon benefit from the PHP3.3 billion worth of hydropower project, which consists of three mini-hydropower plants with a total capacity of 20.9 megawatts.

In a statement Friday, Governor Corazon Malanyaon said the project will address the power woes in the municipality.

“This is truly a welcome development, as we have been keen on looking at renewable sources of energy to help energize communities in the province,” Malanyaon said.

Meriam Buguis, consultant of the Volga Power Corp., said they will be using a “run-of-the-river” hydropower facility to tap the flowing waters of the Caraga River, which will generate enough power supply for the town proper and the hinterland communities.

For several years since the project started in 2014, the company already secured the initial requirements, such as Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC), endorsements from the municipal and barangay local government unit, and the feasibility study, while the processing of other requirements are currently ongoing.

With the ongoing groundwork, the company hopes to have the memorandum of agreement for the project signed by January next year to start the construction phase.

The operational phase for the project is projected for up to 25 contract years and renewable for another 25 years.

“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,” Bugis noted.

Buguis said the project will increase local and national revenues, propelling further economic activity in the municipality and province.

“The project is also expected to usher in more improvements in social services due to the higher income of the local government,” she said. (PNA)