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16-MW hydropower plant in Eastern Samar seen as ‘economic multiplier’ — THEC

Taft Hydro Energy Corporation's (THEC) 16-megawatt (MW) hydropower plant in Eastern Samar is expected to serve the country's growing electricity needs while also boosting economic growth, according to the company.

THEC said in a statement that it completed the commissioning of its hydropower plant in Taft, Eastern Samar's Barangay San Rafael on March 11.

“Our fishermen cannot wait for the project to come online soon enough. At the same time, the completion of the THEC project will create a major economic multiplier by the opening of investment opportunities in cold storage, processing plants, and even in tourism,” said THEC president Benjie Picardo.

“Hydro projects are challenging to build but despite the pandemic THEC did it in record time of less than two years. THEC is grateful to the support of the Department of Energy (DOE), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the electric cooperatives, local government of Eastern and Western Samar, the local communities and our workers on the ground who went the extra mile so we can complete this project on time and on budget,” he added.

THEC said the 16-MW hydropower project is envisioned to provide power to the island of Samar, which is part of the country’s Tuna Highway.

The lack of power has constrained investments in cold storage facilities for tuna fishermen, limiting their ability to maximize the tuna industry's potential.

THEC said it utilizes the Taft-Tubig River to provide stable and affordable electricity in Samar Island and Leyte Province.

“This is a huge project with three units of 5.9 MW. With this plant, local places will get [the] energy required for normal life and grid improvement,” said Aleksander Ikodinovic, who represents Global Hydro Energy, THEC's electromechanical supplier.

THEC said it tapped a P1-billion loan from the DBP to partly fund the construction of the project, which is located 1.2 kilometers from the National Highway in Eastern Samar.

THEC is a project company under Magis Energy Holdings Corp., a Filipino company organized to harness the power of renewable energy sources with the aim of spurring growth in rural communities that have not been given access to power.

Magis Energy is also the owner of Matuno River Development Corp., the project company responsible for the 8.6-MW hydroelectric project in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. — VBL, GMA News