Northcot LGU to develop 2 natural energy sources PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 08 March 2014 13:12

There are two potential sources of electricity in North Cotabato that can be tapped to address the nagging power woes besetting the area’s 17 towns and the more than 40 barangays in Kidapawan City.

The office of North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza has listed among its development goals for 2014 the construction of a hydroelectric plant, and a geothermal power facility in the hinterland town of Magpet, located at the foot of Mt. Apo.

Experts commissioned by Mendoza have established that the largest river that springs from a rainforest in Magpet, flowing down the lower valley of North Cotabato, can be harnessed to generate electricity for local consumers now suffering from the adverse impact of the power shortage in the province.

Kidapawan City, which is the capital of North Cotabato, and the gateway to Mt. Apo, is host to two large geothermal plants, but whose private operator, the Energy Development Corporation, only supplies power to large-scale buyers outside of Central Mindanao, and not to local consumers.

Mendoza, in her state of the province address (SOPA) last Tuesday, also underscored the viability of putting up a geothermal plant in Magpet, which is near Kidapawan City.

Mendoza said the provincial government aims to develop domestic sources of natural and renewable energy for North Cotabato to become self-sufficient in providing power to its mixed Christian and Muslim residents, and to existing power-sustained industries.

The governor said she has tapped credible focal persons to deal with prospective benefactors for the two power projects.

Some 3,000 barangay folks from across North Cotabato, among them leaders of different sectors, local executives, and representatives from the Islamic and Christian religious communities, graced Mendoza’s SOPA at the municipal government complex in Carmen town.

Mendoza said there is a need to immediately develop potential sources of natural and renewable energy in the province for its investment climate to become more attractive to foreign and local investors.

Despite the power problems besetting North Cotabato, the province posted considerable investments mark up in the past 18 months, which local executives said were ushered in by the improving security situation in areas where costly agricultural ventures are suitable.

Mendoza said they are expecting North Cotabato’s first ever multi-million oil palm processing plant – of the Univanich Carmen Palm Oil Corporation – to start processing nuts produced by local farmers by June 2014.  The oil mill is located at the town proper of Carmen.

There are also newly-developed banana plantations in three adjoining barangays in Banisilan town, where harvests are to be processed in plants that are run by electricity too, Mendoza pointed out.