By: Therence Mae Lamban, Enah Fleur Mamac, Mary Angeline Micoy, & Myque Rollon/UM Interns
THE MEMORANDUM of Cooperation has been signed for the first-ever P3-billion hydrogen power plant in Southeast Asia, which will rise in Olutanga island, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Hydrogene de France Energy Philippines Holdings Philippines Inc., and Zamboanga Sibugay government officials inked the agreement on energy investments in the OLTAMA (Olutanga, Talusan, Mabuhay) Development Alliance and Pagadian City on Friday, May 5 at the Acacia Hotel Davao City.
Present at the event were the principal signees: MinDA Chairperson Sec. Mabel Acosta; HDF Energy Philippines President Mathieu Geze; Ambassador of the French Republic H.E. Michele Boccoz; Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Dulce Ann Hofer; mayors from partner municipalities; and heads of Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperatives.
The Hydrogen power plant will generate 24/7 entirely renewable, controllable, and stable electricity in the province with zero greenhouse gas emissions. This technology works by separating hydrogen and oxygen through “electrolysis.” Hydrogen will provide energy in place of fossil-based power plants.
“We will split the water molecules into hydrogen on one side, oxygen on other side. What we release into the environment is oxygen, so there is no negative impact,” HDF President Mathieu Geze said.
The development period will take almost two years, sitting on a 40-hectare land at Olutanga Island, purchased by the provincial government of Zamboanga Sibugay.
HDF bared the rough estimated cost of over 50 million euros (3 billion pesos) to develop the project.
Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Dulce Ann Hofer said that the Hydrogen power plant project is a game-changer for the whole province, particularly for the municipalities of OLTAMA.
“They [islands] really are suffering. In fact, all their appliances cannot withstand the fluctuation of our energy because they are from the grid. So, the choice of MinDA and the French Government, and of course the company Hydrogen de France is really a game-changer for our province,” she said.
Pagadian City Mayor Samuel Co reiterated that the technology would supplement the energy, especially whenever El Niño looms in the province.
“If we have a really stable energy, in that way we also have a power source that will connect to the electric cooperative, so they don’t need to worry where to buy the 10-kilowatt power,” Mayor Co said.
Hofer added that this project will help the provincial government attain its goal of being the first “green island” in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Acosta shared that a similar project will be implemented soon in ten more possible sites all over Mindanao, particularly areas lacking sufficient power sources.
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