Citicore taps Chinese firm as EPC contractor for 19.7MW hydro project

Published March 19, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Project corporate vehicle Rio Norte Hydropower Corporation, a subsidiary of Citicore Powe Inc., has engaged Chinese firm Xian Electric Engineering Co. Ltd. as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of its 19.7-megawatt run-of-river hydropower project sited in Isabela province in Northern Luzon.

The cost of the EPC deal had not been disclosed, but Citicore Power said the hydropower facility is targeted for commercial operation date (COD) in 2024.

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The project sponsor-firm stipulated that the plant’s construction will kick off second half of this year; and it will take about 36 months to bring it to full construction completion and subsequent commercial operations.

According to Edgar Saavedra, chairman of Citicore and also of infrastructure firm Megawide Construction, the EPC contract that was sealed with the Chinese firm “marks the beginning of the full construction of the Ilaguen 3A hydropower project.”

He further stated that once completed, “I hope this power plant will be a benchmark of high quality standard and a success wherein both parties will be proud of their combined achievement, that will be recognized by all of the stakeholders of both companies.”

On the part of Xian Electric, Liu Zhaohua, deputy general manager of the company, asserted the EPC firm’s optimism that “we will deliver the project with very high standard and carry out the construction as planned to help Citicore and the Philippines’ drive to energy reliability and security.”

The hydropower plant project is part of the 1,000 megawatts portfolio build-up of renewable energy (RE) capacities that the Citicore group has blueprinted and set for installation in the next five years.

Oliver Tan, president and CEO of Citicore, noted that the continuing wreck of the Covid-9 pandemic has been causing delays to the project, but he qualified that “Citicore and Xian Electric have made quite a lot of breakthroughs by initiating value engineering measures to optimize plant performance.”

He stressed “as we proceed swiftly with the project implementation, the signing of the EPC represents a crucial milestone for the two companies.”

Citicore explained that utilizing run-of-river hydro resource for power generation, is touted “one of the most environment-friendly energy methods available as it harnesses the natural flow of water to generate electricity.”’

Once on commercial stream, the facility “is expected to bring down the cost of electricity,” primarily at its host-community in Isabela province; while also reaping value added socio-economic benefits for them.

“To help the community, Citicore already undertakes the development of the eco-tourism and farm-to-market road and several community programs in the area even before the construction mobilization,” the project developer-firm emphasized. (MMV)