Samar offers opportunities in hydropower dev’t

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The Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council is targeting hydroelectric power developers for the five major rivers and 20 other river systems on Samar

Mel Senen Sarmiento, council chairman and mayor of Calbayog City in Samar, said these rivers have been largely untapped and could be developed to help avert a nationwide power shortage. The five major rivers are Jibatan, Gandara, Tenane, Silaga and Basey Rivers.

“We need to construct more power plants in the country to address the shortage. The government should take advantage of private sector’s technology that can produce power and [at the same time] maintain the beauty of rivers and waterfalls,” Mr. Sarmiento said. “Samar Island…should capitalize on hydropower projects. The excess power supply can be connected to the national grid to augment the supply for the whole country.”

He said each of the waterfalls and river systems in Samar can produce four to eight megawatts, enough to power a town.

The mayor made the suggestion following the recent signing of agreement with Clean N Green Energy Solutions for the construction of a hydropower plant at Bugtong Waterfalls in Calbayog City.

Mr. Sarmiento said a feasibility study is being conducted for hydropower plants in Panas Falls and Tarangban Falls, both in the city.