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Davao Oriental provincial government eyes biomass energy project

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The Davao Oriental provincial government is pursuing partnerships to speed up electrification in remote communities and possibly create a biomass facility for cheaper power rates.   

In a statement, the local government said that Governor Corazon Malanyaon met with officials of Davao Oriental Electric Cooperative (DORECO), the province’s sole distributor, to discuss shared costs for bringing supply to still unserved areas as well as improving delivery in tourist destinations.

Ms Malanyaon said providing power is crucial for economic recovery efforts as well as livelihood development and social services, noting that the presence of electricity symbolises the presence of government in communities.

The province will be allocating funds for the program and DORECO, which has its own ongoing Sitio Electrification Programme, expressed readiness to cover the labour component.   

Mary Ann Santos, DORECO officer-in-charge and general manager, said in the statement: “We can give the labour counterpart to whatever electrification project the province would like to engage in. Our men are eager to energise our province, especially the tourism areas.”

Ms Malanyaon said the provincial government is also looking into a partnership with a Japanese company for the construction of a biomass plant, which could reduce electricity cost by about “40 percent while providing clean and sustainable energy.” 

DORECO, which currently charges a basic rate of P12 per kilowatt hour, is also backing the green energy plan.   

Meanwhile, the utility and the provincial government are undertaking a joint clearing operation of power lines to minimise power outages.  

Ms Santos said supply interruptions in the province are mainly caused by obstructions in power facilities.     

She said: “We would want our barangay leaders and everyone in the government to help us secure our power lines because power interruption interrupts everything, it interrupts everyone.”

Davao Oriental has an installed capacity of 55 megawatts (MW) and a contracted capacity of 22 MW from different suppliers, according to DORECO. The province’s recent average peak load was 33 MW.