The Municipality of La Trinidad and Hedcor were all cheers as they together broke ground the 19-MW Bineng Combination Hydro on December 5.
An intimate gathering of sorts, the community and organization reminisced 26-years worth of stories and experiences, especially in other communities with previous hydropower plants. Chris Sangster, the executive vice president of AboitizPower, delivered the keynote message.
“It can be recalled that the existing Bineng Hydros were built by the own hands of the community. We grappled with the lack of technologies but we were able to build not just one but four hydropower plants. Being one of the first hydropwer plants built by Hedcor, the Bineng Hydros hold special place for all of us in Hedcor,” he beamed.
Hedcor came to La Trinidad to seek partnership with the community to build run-of-river hydropwer plants in 1991, pioneering a collaboration that allows both parties to progress. La Trinidad, a stone’s throw from Baguio City, like most areas in the Northern Luzon, has a wealthy resource of rivers and waters, a very important element in the hydro industry. The community permitted Hedcor to build four plants, namely the Bineng 1, Bineng 2, Bineng 2b and Bineng 3 hydropwer plants.
Marking 26 years of healthy partnership later, the 19_MW Bineng Combination Hydro came into fruition.
“The story of La Trinidad as hydropwer host community lives on. Thank you for your trust and support for the project. We are honored to be your partner as we generate renewable energy to fuel the country’s economy and individual opportunity. The Bineng Combination Plant will not just be an achievement for our time, it will be a monument for all time,’ Sangster added.
In his response, Mayor Romeo Salda expressed his confidence with Hedcor saying, “All stakeholders will benefit after this project will be completed. Along the way, if we still have problems that we will encounter while this projects is ongoing, let us resolve it through dialogue.”
With increased capacity of the Bineng Combination comes more benefits to the community.
Pendon Thompson, the IP Representative of the municipality stated, “Hedcor has respected our rights as indigenous people despite the absence of IPRA Law back when we were starting the Bineng Hydros. The hydropower plants were built on trust.”
“We fully support this Bineng Combination Hydro project which will greatly benefit our community,” he added.
The 19-MW Bineng Combination Hydro is expected to be completed by 2019.