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Paolo Duterte urges gov’t to prioritize Agus-Pulangi power plants rehab

By Billy Begas

Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte has called on the government to prioritize the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex to ensure a clean and reliable energy source in Mindanao.

Duterte said the rehabilitation of the hydropower plant is also in line with the commitment of the Marcos Jr. administration to the G20 forum that it will continue to pursue a whole-of-nation approach to mitigating climate risks and fighting the climate crisis.

“If we want to be a global leader in climate action, we can start with rehabilitating the Agus-Pulangi power plants in Mindanao. This long-term measure will eventually reduce Mindanao’s reliance on coal, and accelerate our shift to clean energy sources,” Duterte said.

Duterte said the rehabilitation will enable Mindanao to meet the ever-expanding energy requirements of its fast-growing economy.

“The infrastructure boom in Davao City and other parts of Mindanao has led to the emergence of many growth centers in the island. This means a corresponding increase in the energy we need to power our residential, commercial, and industrial developments,” Duterte added.

Composed of seven hydropower plants, the Agus-Pulangi complex has an installed capacity of 1,001 megawatts (MW), but only 600 to 700 MW is available because of the limitations of its old facilities.

The administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte had planned the rehabilitation project of the plants in two stages. The first phase, involving the rehabilitation of four plants, is expected to generate 417 MW. The rest of the plants will comprise the second stage of the rehabilitation to generate an additional 512 MW.

The project has been turned over to the Marcos Jr. administration.

Duterte also expressed his hope that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will unveil his administration’s climate action agenda and long-term plans to reduce the country’s dependence on crude oil in his upcoming first State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).

Under the government’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) 2020-2040, the Department of Energy (DOE) is targeting to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the power generation mix to at least 35% by 2030 and to more than 50% by 2040.

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