By Alena Mae S. Flores – March 20, 2019 at 09:05 pm
The government is now tapping multilateral funding institutions led by the World Bank, instead of China, to support the construction of the 982-megawatt Agus-Pulangi hydro powerplant in Mindanao, according to the National Power Corp.
Napocor president Pio Benavidez said the government was looking at funding from the World Bank and development partners France, Australia and Japan.
“So it will be a multilateral loan. It’s no longer China,” Benavidez said.
“The World Bank would be joining other funding institutions covering multilateral funding. The role of the World Bank is to do a feasibility study on what are the options for Agus,” he said.
He said the government was looking at the options for the Agus-Pulangi hydro plant rehabilitation such as attaining the rated generation capacity, increasing the generation capacity by 10 percent and improving the water efficiency.
He said Napocor, the National Economic Development Authority and the Finance Department would study the best rehabilitation option for Agus-Pulangi power plants which were running at 40 percent of their rated capacity.
The Finance Department proposed the rehabilitation of the hydro plants before their privatization to increase the value of the facility.
“Once the rehab is completed, then it will be privatized. The value of the plant will go up. As of now, if you don’t rehabilitate, the value of the plant is low,” Benavidez said.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government made significant progress in the implementation of infrastructure projects financed by official development assistance from China.
Dominguez in a courtesy visit to China Vice President Wang Qishan updated him on the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects, some of which are being implemented with funding support from China.
China-funded projects include two bridges that will help ease traffic in Metro Manila―the Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges which are being funded by a 397 million renminbi ($63.13 million) grant from China.
Dominguez also thanked China for providing concessional loan financing for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam project.
China extended a $62.09-million loan for the Chico river irrigation project and a $211.21-million loan for the construction of the Kaliwa Dam.
“We have been meeting with the Ministry of Commerce of China for the past two years, and we have made a lot of progress with our actual official development assistance relations with China,” Dominguez said during the meeting.