July 28, 2010
Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357


U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas (left) congratulates FGMHPC's President and COO Francis Giles Puno after the ceremony.
U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas (left) congratulates FGMHPC's President and COO Francis Giles Puno after the ceremony.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – In order to address growing demand for power in the Philippines, the First Gen Mindanao Hydro Power Corporation (FGMHPC) is partnering with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to assess the requirements to build its hydroelectric power plant in northern Mindanao.

Awarded today, the USTDA grant for totaling over US$360,000 will fund a feasibility study, which is expected to lead to a 14-20 megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric power plant in the municipality of Cabadbaran in the Mindanao province of Agusan Del Norte. The study's outcomes will include a hydrology analysis, geotechnical assessment and mapping, environmental and social impact assessments, as well as preliminary designs for the power plant.

USTDA is following through on the commitment it made earlier in the year at the ASEAN Clean Energy, Trade, Technology and Investment Forum in Manila to provide funding to countries that seek to work with U.S. private sector experts on shared priorities.

The feasibility study is part of the U.S. commitment to supporting the Philippines with its efforts to develop renewable energy sources and to increase electrification across the country. Once completed, this project will help improve access to electricity for 20,000-28,000 households in Northern Mindanao.

During the grant signing ceremony at the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. said the funding "is yet another example of the U.S. Government's commitment to renewable energy and infrastructure development in Mindanao."

"This agreement will also promote trade and establish long-term economic linkages between the United States and the Philippines," he added. "The end result is more jobs for both Filipino and American workers."

Annual power demand is growing at an annual pace of 7.3% and the Philippines Department of Energy aims to have 10% of electricity production come from hydropower.

FGMHPC's President and COO, Mr. Francis Giles Puno, told Ambassador Thomas that the grant will help provide an additional supply of power to the Caraga region of Mindanao following the brownouts and power outages it suffered in 2009.

"First Gen appreciates the support provided by USTDA in its efforts to develop and execute this project to meet the region’s growing demand for electricity, particularly from clean and renewable power such as hydro," said Puno when he accepted the grant.

First Gen Mindanao Hydro Power Corporation will use its vast experience from the operations and development of its First Gen-affiliated hydroelectric projects such as the 122-megawatt Pantabangan-Masiway hydro plant in Luzon and a 1.6- megawatt plant in Bukidnon to complete the project with USTDA's support.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The First Gen Mindanao Hydro Power Corporation will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the technical assistance.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

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