Repower Energy Development Corp. acquires Philpodeco
Repower Energy Development Corporation (REDC) has acquired Philippine Power and Development Company (Philpodeco), owner of the country’s three oldest operating mini-hydropower plants.
With the acquisition, REDC is looking to multiply these plants’ output after a P300-million overhaul, the company said in a statement.
Investing millions for the thorough renewal of the structural and civil works of the Balugbog, Calibato and Palapakin hydro plants was recommended by Manny V. Vergel III of Vergel3 Consult Inc., the only Filipino World Bank consultant on mini-hydropower.
According to his comprehensive study on the hydrology of the region, the existing water resources can support bigger capacity plants through the implementation of advanced technology and upgrading of the civil works.
REDC will upgrade these Laguna-based low-impact hydro plants, with the latest run-of-river systems technology. Such systems basically generate energy by utilizing water in a reliable and controlled manner.
This advanced system, among other deployments increases the height of the existing weirs, which raise the water level and ensure constant water supply, minimizing the hydro plants’ impact on the environment.
REDC’s enhancements will increase the current output of the Balugbog, Calibato and Palapakin hydro plants by more than four-fold, or generating more than 11 Gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy annually.
“The beauty of these plants is that you know that the system has been operating for the last 88 years, and with the current hydrology study completed, it will still be productive for the next 100.”
“The fact that these plants were not efficiently run by the former management, using only band-aid solutions to mitigate problems, we are going to change all that through investment in technology and infrastructure.” says Dexter Y. Tiu, REDC Chief Executive.
Established in 1927, Philpodeco is the pioneer and longest running operator of mini-hydropower plants in the Philippines.
Before the Second World War, the company founded by the Americans and some Filipinos had already put up four hydro plants in Laguna. It purchased the Sta. Cruz and Sto. Tomas electric plants, supplying electricity to the municipalities of Majayjay, Magdalena, Sta. Cruz, Pila, Victoria, Bay, Los Baños, Calamba and Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
During the war, Philpodeco continued its operations under the Taiwan Denki Kaisha of the Japanese Military Administration.
During the sixties, Philpodeco, utilizing its 4 hydro plants then, served 39 percent of Laguna’s people, generating 12 million kWh – 70 percent of which was produced by Philpodeco’s plants, while the remaining 30 percent was purchased from Botocan and NPC.
Philpodeco continued to supply electricity to 11 of Laguna’s municipalities until the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos issued a presidential decree in 1983, stating that Meralco had to take over Philpodeco’s distribution lines.
Meralco could not buy the hydropower plants as the law then precluded a distributor like Meralco to be a power generator. Philpodeco continued to operate these three plants, supplying bulk power to Meralco since July 1, 1983 up to today.
This takeover of Philpodeco’s hydro plants is just one of REDC’s initiatives to promote environmentally friendly renewable energy generation. Aside from Laguna, REDC is also developing more thann 50 MW of mini hydropower plants in the provinces of Quezon, Bukidnon, and Camarines Sur.
Ground breaking of these greenfield plants are scheduled within months of each other, with the first ground breaking scheduled for next week.
Established just two years ago while the country was grappling with inadequate energy supply, REDC has become a frontrunner in the hydro energy industry, introducing modern European technology for hydropower energy production optimization.
REDC backs the Philippine government’s call for more investments in renewable energies. Their projects promotes environmental sustainability and have a significant impact on the country’s buoyant urban and economic growth.
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