Sta. Clara lining up $900-M hydro projects

by Myrna Velasco, 29 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin

Local firm Sta. Clara International Corporation is lining up in the next five years series of hydropower developments that could yield up to 200 megawatts of aggregate capacity and will command total investment of $600 million to $900 million.

In an interview, Sta. Clara president Nicandro G. Linao has indicated that there are prospective local and foreign partners that they have been in discussion with for the development of their portfolio of hydropower service contracts.

“Rule of thumb for hydro projects — depending on site conditions or the cost influence of topography – would be $3.0 million to $4.5 million per megawatt,” Linao has explained.

Their planned hydropower projects are strategically spread in various sites nationwide – with service areas already awarded to the company in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“There are interested partners who have been approaching us – both local and foreign companies,” he stressed.

Linao added that all of their packaged hydropower ventures will be developed as run-of-river facilities with some degree of assurance that these would eventually be qualified for feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives under the Renewable Energy Law.

“Since our developments could come earliest in the next three years, it is likely that the FIT degression for hydro technology will already be enforced…but our assumption is that: it would still be viable to invest,” the Sta. Clara chief executive has reckoned.

For this year, their project that will be moving tangibly will be the 11.0MW co-venture with the Ayala group which is under Quadriver Energy Corporation.

Project vehicle Quadriver Energy is majority owned by the Ayala group with 70-percent stake, but Sta. Clara, despite its minority shareholdings, will still assume a key role in the venture because it will also be the contractor.

“There have been delays but the project will be moving. We will start mobilizing for its implementation in the next few weeks…starting with a groundbreaking,” Linao said.

The propounded Sta. Clara-Ayala development will cover the 3.0MW Tinoc 1, 6.5MW Tinoc 2 and 5.0MW Tinoc 3 hydropower ventures.

The others that they are targeting to advance from the drawing board in the immediate term would include their planned 8.0MW Cantakoy hydro project in Danao, Bohol as well as some lined up projects in Mindanao.

“We also have hydro service contract for Mindoro, then in Bohol and another one would be an expansion of an existing plant…We also have targeted ventures of higher capacity of 17MW…Altogether, we have 12 sites but generally our targets are in the ranges of 5.0, 8.0 to 12MW,” Linao asserted.

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