Rio Norte Hydro Corporation (RNHC) is set to build its 19.7 MW run-of-river hydropower system after signing a memorandum of agreement with local government units of Isabela province and Echague town on Wednesday.
The said hydropower plant will be located in San Miguel village along the Ilaguen River.
RNHC Executive Vice President Manolo Candelaria, Echague Mayor Francis Faustino Dy, Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III, and San Miguel Barangay Captain Efren Santiago all signed the memorandum for the project.
“This hydro project is a welcome development in our municipality as it is expected to bring down the cost of electricity for my constituents as well as generate a host of beneficial programs,” Dy stated in a Philippine News Agency report.
RNHC Vice President for Legal and Government Affairs Clarence Jandoc said the project is considered one of the most environment-friendly energy that will allow natural flow of water to provide electricity.
“The project produces nearly no greenhouse emissions,” Jandoc added.
85 kilowatts of energy per year is expected to be generated for the cities of Cauayan and Santiago, as well as the municipalities of Alicia, Angadanan, Cabatuan, Cordon, Echague, Jones, Luna, Ramon, Reina Mercedes, San Agustin, San Guillermo, San Isidro, and San Mateo.
Aside from the hydropower project, RNHC is also taking part in the development of an eco-tourism road and several community programs in the area, Jandoc said.
“We will upgrade the existing provincial road into an ‘all-weather road’ that will extend into a municipal road going toward the majestic Ilaguen River,” he said.
Jandoc promised social development programs to provide sustainable livelihood and educational opportunities.
Meanwhile, residents of Barangay San Miguel approved of the project as it provides development opportunities for the community.
“On behalf of the community, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Rio Norte for this additional support,” San Miguel Barangay Captain Efren Santiago said.
“The road project will help improve our access to basic services like healthcare, market, and schools. Once it is complete, we will be able to transport our products to the marketplace faster,” he added.
“We are also looking forward to more livelihood and employment opportunities for the barangays. It’s wonderful that Rio Norte is now our neighbor,” he said.
Jandoc said the project is in line with RNHC’s commitment to inclusive growth.
“We are thankful for the welcome and steadfast support from the municipality and the province. We hope that our hydropower project will serve as a catalyst for economic development in Echague and will contribute to the entire province’s sustained growth. Wherever we go, we make sure to deliver this same commitment to help the community,” he said.