Philippines San Roque will be operational in March

21 January 2003 - The $1.2bn San Roque Multi-Purpose Dam Project in the Philippines is set to start its commercial operation on March 1, said a senior official today.

Ray Cunningham, senior vice president and project director of the San Roque Power Corporation, which owns the project said, "Everything is going reasonably well. So far we have not encountered any particular problems or issues."

Cunningham said the March 1 target date of commercial operation of the project is well ahead of its original February 2004 deadline as provided for in the build-operate-transfer contract with the National Power Corporation. Construction of SRMDP began March 6, 1996 during the administration of President Ramos. Construction continued till the Estrada administration and completed during the present administration of President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo.

Cunningham said this will give the company a 14-month contingency in the event problems will arise in the construction as well as in the implementation of the project.

March 1 will also mark the dam projects 25-year co-operation period with the NPC under the BOT. San Roque, the biggest dam in Asia, is designed to produce 345 MW of power for the Luzon grid. However, the irrigation component of the project is still unavailable and yet to be funded by a foreign lender. Funding of the irrigation component is still the subject of negotiation between the Philippine and Japanese governments, Presidential Assistant Rony Diaz told reporters earlier.

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