National Power Corp. (NPC) will pursue the rehabilitation of the Agus hydropower plants in Mindanao at a cost of P12.5 billion and set the notice of a public hearing on the project’s environmental impact next month.
The project will upgrade and modernize the hydro plants to restore their rated capacities, extend their operating lives, enhance the dam’s structural integrity and ensure the overall safety of the power complex.
NPC said in documents submitted to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources it plans to rehabilitate the 746.1-megawatt Agus plants to increase Mindanao’s reliance on renewable and affordable energy and provide ancillary services to enhance the system reliability.
“Currently, the HPPs are operating below their installed capacity and require upgrading, and the Agus HPPs have been in operation for more than three decades and are already experiencing operational problems due to outmoded equipment and parts, and deterioration of their structures,” said NPC.
The proposed rehabilitation project supports the government’s Build, Build, Build Program, which lists the Agus HPP rehabilitation as part of the state’s priority Infrastructure Flagship Projects.
The rehabilitation and modernization of APHC aim to address equipment issues that constrain production and reliability and extend the service life to meet the growing power demand in Mindanao.
The six Agus HPPs are run-of-the-river HPPs utilizing the water from Lanao Lake as a natural reservoir.
The proposed rehabilitation of the six Agus HPPs will involve repairing or replacing hydro-mechanical and electrical equipment. It also includes the repair of the diaphragm wall of the Agus VI dam to address the damage to the downstream embankment shell caused by an earthquake in late 2019.
NPC said Mindanao, which is heavily dependent on hydro generation, experienced power supply deficiencies in the past during the dry season.
The HPPs of the Agus cascade are included in a proposed Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Complex Rehabilitation Project to be financed by the World Bank. The indicative project cost is estimated at P12.5 billion based on submitted reports to the National Economic and Development Authority using a foreign exchange rate of P50 to the dollar.
The rehabilitation is initially scheduled to begin this year, with completion set in 2025.
NPC is the operator of the Agus HPPs and the implementing entity of the rehabilitation program, while Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. remains the owner of the Agus HPPs.