RENEWABLE ENERGY company Alternergy Holdings Corp. said a mini hydropower project it is co-developing has received approval for P600-million funding support from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

In a media release on Wednesday, Alternergy said its 4.6-megawatt (MW) Dupinga mini hydropower project, has been backed by DBP’s program that aims to help access to electricity services by financing utility-scale power generation projects.

“We are pleased to receive DBP’s approval of financing as it speaks confidence in our Dupinga Project and our commitment to harnessing renewable energy,” Dupinga Mini Hydro Corp.’s (DMHC) President and Chief Executive Officer Eduardo M. Miranda said.

The run-of-river hydropower project in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija is being developed by DMHC, a partnership between Alternergy, led by former Energy secretary Vicente S. Pérez, Jr., and Markham Resources Corp., a renewable energy company led by Francisco Tiu Laurel of the Frabelle group of companies.

Mr. Miranda noted that the loan will be a big help as hydropower projects need numerous permits and clearance during their pre-development stage.

“We were one of the few energy projects that commenced construction at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DBP loan will provide strong support to the ongoing construction of the Dupinga Project as we target completion by early 2024,” he added.

The project was awarded a hydropower service contract by the Department of Energy in 2010. The right to further develop the project and utilize the hydro resource was transferred to DMHC in 2017 upon approval by the department.

“DMHC proceeded to conduct extensive technical studies, public consultations, and secured permits,” Alternergy said in the media release.

The project ensures the protection of the ancestral domain and the development of the indigenous people’s community through a memorandum of agreement entered with the Katutubong Dumagat of Central Luzon and the Dupinga project’s Kaagapay ng Komunidad corporate social responsibility program.

DMHC signified its commitment by maintaining the Dupinga watershed, providing local employment — 36 out of 74 workers of the project are from Katutubong Dumagat — and assistance during times of need and emergencies.

Alternergy is a renewable energy holding company with a portfolio of project companies engaged in different projects, particularly wind, run-of-river hydro, solar farm and commercial rooftop, battery storage, and offshore wind projects.

The company has developed 67 MW of operating assets in wind and solar energy and an additional 62 MW of hydro and solar projects under construction.

Alternergy aims to develop up to 1,245 MW of additional wind, offshore wind, solar, and run-of-river hydro projects in the next five years. — Justine Irish D. Tabile