Hedcor, Inc.'s (Hedcor) PHP5.1 billion, 42.5 megawatt, Sibulan hydropower project in Barangay Sibulan Davao del Sur will start commercial operations on October 31, 2009. The power plant is a project of Aboitiz Power Corporation, which will utilize and harness the Sibulan and Baroring rivers. During the operation of the hydropower plant, the Davao Light and Power Co. will be able to save PHP4.8 billion for the next 12 years. PHP700 million will be accrued in benefits over a period of time.

The energy generated from the power plant will be enough to supply about 294,000 households in Davao city, Panabo city, and municipalities of Carmen, Dujali, and Sto. Tomas of Davao del Norte.

Rene Ronquillo, president of Hedcor said that the hydropower plant will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 95,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

At present, Hedcor is constructing five drop intakes, more than 16 kilometers of steel conveyance pipes to divert the water from the rivers to the plant.

The work on the project started in September 2007.

1,000 locals have been employed for the pre-operation stage and 55 of them will be given a training to oversee the plant’s operations once the operation starts.

Also, Hedcor set up a watershed management and reforestation program for 1,000 hectares of land within the Mt. Apo Natural Park and had it planted with trees.

Sta. Cruz Mayor Joel Ray Lopez said that the project was “a leap of progress” in the municipality with an estimated PHP700-million contribution to be poured in by the power project into the community.

Lopez further continued that the project is expected to provide PHP20 million in annual tax revenues once it becomes operational. Of that amount, 35% will go to the municipal government, 20% to the barangays, and the rest to the provincial government.