Establishment of the proposed 35-megawatt solar power farm in Sikatuna town has been delayed due to quarantine restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, making the project one of the slew of infrastructure developments across the country that have taken a backseat due to the pandemic.
According to Sikatuna Mayor Justiniana Elllorimo, executives of the project’s main proponent Fujian Power Company who are in China have been unable to return to the province due to travel restrictions.
She said that construction could have already started had the project not been hampered by the global health crisis.
“Ang atong investor, subo pamalandungon, na na lockdown pa. Tua pa sa China kay naabutan lagi aning COVID, siguro kung wa pa maabuti ani, mura’g sugod-sugod na siguro na sila ron sa ilang project,” said Ellorimo.
The mayor however is optimistic that the project will still push through.
Fujian Power Company has constantly been coordinating with the Sikatuna local government unit and Department of Energy to fulfill requirements.
Ellorimo said that the power firm, which owns the Valenzuela Solar Energy Inc. in Valuenzuela City, continued the acquisition of lots in the proposed project site in Sikatuna.
Meanwhile, properties within the project site are now being converted into industrial zones under the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).
The project will cut across 41 hectares of land in the villages of Canagong and Bahaybahay in Sikatuna.
“Bisan og dunay pandemic, gapadayon gihapon sila sa pag-process sa ilang mga titles. Ilang gi-process ang yuta, ug naa pud tay conversion to industrial nga himuon kay gikan man gud na og agricultural,” she said.
The mayor sees the project as a significant economic boost to the fifth-class municipality.
The new 35-MW power source could also help alleviate Bohol’s power woes.
The province which continues to grapple with insufficient and unstable power sources consumes about 79 to 84 MW of electricity a day.
According to Ellorimo, the Fujian Power Company has also vowed to provide free solar power for the Sikatuna Municipal Hall and the town’s streetlights.
“Mag-ampo nalang ta na mapadayon ang maong proyekto. So wa ta kawad-e og paglaum na mapadayon gihapon ng ilang proyekto nila,” she said. (A. Doydora)