Philippines-based renewable energy producer Sunwest Water and Electric Company (Suweco) plans to develop nine new hydropower plants in Antique and Aklan to address the power shortage in Panay Island.

Suweco will invest a total of P9bn ($220m) for the development of mini-hydro projects, most of which are under various stages of development.

Projects to be developed on the Antique province include the 8MW run-of-the-river Villasiga 1 plant besides the 9.4MW Villasiga 2 plant, 3MW Dalanas plant, 2MW Guiamon San Ramon and the 2.1MW Tibiao hydropower project

Suweco will also develop four projects on the Aklan island, with a combined capacity of 22.8MW; they include projects across the Main Aklan River, the Upper Aklan West Tributary, the Lower East Aklan Tributary and the Middle West Tributary.

The Villasiga 1 plant is expected to be operational by the middle of 2013 with rest to be completed over the next five years.

Development of the mini hydroelectric projects will help the country meet its objective of increasing renewable power generation by 50% over the next 15 years.