RE firm to start up turbines at 16MW hydropower plant in Samar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — Taft Hydro Energy Corporation (THEC) seeks to lead the renewable energy shift in Eastern Visayas, with a ₱2-billion hydropower facility delivering power to the whole Samar Island by end-2021.

The company, in a statement on Sunday, said the 16-megawatt hydropower project's completion rate is now at 98%.

The plant is on track for commercial operations by the latter part of the year, supporting the expected increase in power needs of households, and commercial and industrial customers during the holiday season, said THEC president Benjie Picardo.

It is located in Barangay San Rafael, Taft in Eastern Samar, and will harness the Taft-Tubig River.

Picardo sees the operation of the hydropower plant boosting the island’s tuna industry.

"The lack of power has constrained investments in cold storage facilities for tuna fishermen," he said. "The project's major economic multiplier will be the opening of investment opportunities in cold storage, processing plants, and even in tourism.”

In a phone interview, he said the company spent "a little over ₱2 billion" to construct the facility.

Picardo said two more cascades are on the company's pipeline, which will also use the same river. The executive said the group is earmarking about ₱3 billion to finance the two projects.

THEC is a project company under homegrown group Magis Energy Holdings Corporation.