July 19, 2018, 5:48 am
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Dirty water finds a purpose

Murky waters of Marikina River and its tributaries will find a useful purpose when Hydrotec Renewables Inc. completes its plan to set up eight hydro-electric plants using waters of the river.
The company intends to invest between $53 million to $62 million (P2.8 billion) over the next two years. 
The 8 plants are expected to produce 25 to 30 megawatts. The  mini hydro projects will be built in  Sitio Wawa, San Isidro and San Jose in  Rodriguez City,  San Mateo City , Tumana and Nangka 4 in Marikina City and Hinulugang Taktak and Nangka 1 in  Antipolo City. 
“The design of our hydro plants will reduce flooding in Marikina and environs. The project will save billions of pesos yearly in rehabilitation and assistance to flood victims”, said Hannes Mueller, director of Hydrotec., Mueller  explained “by cascading the Marikina river, small reservoirs will be created with total capacity equal to the Angat reservoir. This will contribute to a more efficient flood control and  lower sedimentation for Pasig River, Laguna Lake and Manila Bay, Mueller said. 
Hydraulic cleaning machines and trash racks will be built at each plant site to remove wastes from the river. The electricity produced will be sold to franchise holder Manila Electric Co. for distribution.
 “The electro-mechanical equipment like hydro turbines, generators, control boards, hydrological equipment will be manufactured in Germany, which guarantees us, highest efficiency and a lifetime of over 50 years,” Mueller said. Mueller said real time,  satellite connected weather forecast system will also be installed at each of Hydrotec’s hydro power plant.
He said the satellite weather forecast system will substantially improve the efficiency and operation of each hydro facility by giving it a precise, 72-hour forecast about any meteorological events like storms, typhoons, direction and speed of wind and clouds, and amount of rainfall.
“All data will be available at no costs for the hosting local government units and will improve any weather forecast, warnings of floods, storms, heavy rainfalls or typhoons,” Mueller said.
Mueller said that site preparation for construction  at three of the said areas are already ongoing.
Depending on the prevailing weather conditions, Mueller said  construction time  for a mini-hydro facility may last from six to eight months.
The eight hydro projects will be completed by  2016.  Several  hydropower plants can be constructed simultaneously, according to Mueller.
 “The major benefit of our projects is the average annual contribution of hundreds of megawatt hours of clean electricity to the Philippine grid, reduction of brown outs, avoiding thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions and a significant reduction of the import and dependence of crude oil and the operation of environment polluting carbon and diesel plants,” Mueller said.
Hydrotec’s projects will create jobs and contribute to the regional economy, he said. 
“Any kind of renewable, ecological friendly produced electricity is an essential contribution to the protection of our environment and nature for the forthcoming generations and it will stabilize or lower the electricity prices,” Mueller said.
Hydrotec is a 60 percent Filipino-owned and 40 percent German-held renewable energy firm.
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