The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) recently approved a P271-million loan for the construction of the 1.5 MW Tubao mini-hydro power project in the municipality of Tubao, La Union.
The project consists of the construction and operation of a run-of-river type hydropower plant located in Sitio Maian, Barangay Halog East, Tubao, La Union. It will be constructed at the Galiano River, a tributary of the Aringay River.
The project will contribute to the government’s thrust of achieving energy security through the development of indigenous and renewable energy sources. It will augment power supply in the Luzon Grid, which has a projected deficit of 184 MW in 2015 and 339 MW by 2017, based on the Department of Energy’s Luzon Supply-Demand Outlook 2013-2020.
The mini-hydro power project will also help reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuel and reduce the negative impact of fuel imports on the country’s balance of payments, as it would replace about 12,398 barrels of crude oil equivalent per year. This translates to an estimated foreign exchange savings of $748,749 annually. It is expected to reduce an estimated 2,983 tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere every year.
Electricity generated will be sold to La Union Electric Cooperative (LUELCO), which serves 17 municipalities in the province. Currently, LUELCO sources the bulk of its power requirements from the Luzon Grid.
The project will also have a multiplier effect on the local economy as 51 percent of the construction cost is allocated for civil and other construction works. An estimated 100 to 150 locals will be employed during the construction phase.