Calapan City―Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi led the inauguration of the P2.4-billion hydroelectric power plant considered as the first successful renewable energy project in Mindoro Island.
The completion of the 10-megawatt Inabasan Hydro-Electric Power Plant is in response to the government’s call to “develop the country’s hydro-power resources essential to meeting energy demand over the next 10 years,” according to project developer Ormin Power Inc.
The IHPP is owned and operated by OPI, an independent power provider and the power-generation subsidiary of Jolliville Holdings Corp. chaired by businessman Jolly Ting.
“The completion of the Inabasan hydroelectric power plant is a realization of the vision of harnessing renewable energy to provide clean, sustainable and affordable energy to Oriental Mindoro to support the growth and development of the province,” Ting said.
Supposed to be completed in 2016 two years after it started in 2014, the power project suffered a three-year delay because of four big typhoons―Nona, Nina, Urduja and Usman―that battered the island in those years.
The project undertook rehabilitation and major repair works because of the damage wrought by the typhoons. From an initial P1.6 billion, the project cost climbed to P2 billion.
Cusi congratulated Ting as chairman of Ormin Power.
Other officials who witnessed the inauguration are San Teodoro mayor Salvador Py, the host municipality, Calapan City mayor Arnan Panaligan, former governor and congressman Rodolfo Valencia and First and Second District Representatives Salvador Leachon and Reynaldo Umali.
OPI, as a dynamic emerging power-generation company on Mindoro Island established in 2019, completed its first power-generation project―a 9.6-megawatt modular Diesel Power Plant in Barangay Sta. Isabel, Calapan in 2011.
OPI executive vice president Jose Ilagan said the Inabasan mini-hydro power plant was “considered as the first renewable energy project undertaken and completed by an independent power provider, the Ormin Power Inc.” on Mindoro Island.
The completion of the Inabasan hydro-power represents the first phase of the 30-megawatt hydro-power project that is being done in three stages. “The second phase, involving another 10-MW hydro plant, is now in the pipeline and up for implementation,” said Ting.
The hydropower plant capacity factor in the Philippines ranges from 35 percent to 65 percent, making the Inabasan mini-hydro power plant as “one of the best hydro-power sites in the country”. It could generate electric power at the full-rated capacity of 10 MW with 88-percent plant factor.
The operation of the plant was initiated on Jan. 14 this year and went full blast in March with an initial power production of 2.5 MW.
OPI said that at the onset of the rainy season in the following months, the plant is expected to generate power from 2.5 MW to a range of 8 to 10 megawatts.
Located in one of the foothills of Mount Halcon in San Teodoro town, the country’s highest peak with an elevation of 2,583 meters or 7,749 feet, IHPP draws its power from the peak’s tributary, the Inabasan River.
Some 300 Mangyan natives belonging to the Iraya tribe were hired as either construction crew, workers and laborers during the construction period from 2014 to 2019.
Five of the Mangyans are now permanently employed either as turbine operators or transmission lines watchdogs.
“Our Inabasan project has generated employment for the locals and Mangyan natives in the area. We also developed and opened a 7.5-kilometer access road which has tremendously enhanced economic and social activities of the nearby Iraya communities,” said Ting.