This capital town of Benguet and Sablan town will jointly host a 20-megawatt hydroelectric power plant expected to be operational 20 months after it starts construction in March.
La Trinidad will host the weir (low head dam) while the power plant will be in Sablan.
Cris Faelnar, senior vice president of Aboitiz Power-Hedcor Inc., said on Monday the hydroelectric plant, dubbed Sablan 1, will take 20 months to build and expected to produce an average of 61 million kilowatt-hours per year to the Luzon grid.
This will also increase Aboitiz Power- Hedcor’s electric generation portfolio from La Trinidad to 43MW.
To date, Aboitiz has 23MW power capacity– 19MW from the combined Bineng plants–La Trinidad 1 and Bineng 3’s 4.5MW.
Hedcor has other plants in the towns of Itogon, Tuba, Bakun and Sablan in Benguet province; Sabangan in Mountain Province; and at Amilongan in Ilocos Sur.
Faelnar said once commissioned, Aboitiz Power-Hedcor has committed to giving Sablan and La Trinidad PHP1 per kilowatt-hour of power produced as its share or roughly PHP610,000 a year additional revenue for each of the two towns.
Hedcor is La Trinidad’s biggest taxpayer.
He said such benefit is over and above the government-mandated real property and business tax, other permits needed to be obtained and beneficiary of its corporate social responsibility.
Local workers will also be prioritized during the power plant’s construction and operation.
La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, who led the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA), said the hydroelectric plant is the biggest project in the municipality for this year.
Salda said the project will possibly bring additional and much bigger income to the town.
“Their presence is essential to the municipality in ensuring development and progress of the town,” he said.
Aboitiz Power is set to sign the MOA with the provincial government and the officials of Sablan town on January. 9.
The indigenous peoples’ organizations of both towns have concurred with the project through the Free, Prior and Informed Consent process that was approved before the end of 2019. (PNA)