June 28, 2022, 10:14 AM

NIA Central Office – The National Irrigation Administration (NIA), headed by Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, eyes the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on irrigation development with 50 potential irrigation projects nationwide.

Irrigation development in the Philippines is very slow at 2% of the potential irrigable area of about 1.3 million hectares annually due to lack of budgetary support to fast-track implementation of big-ticket multi-purpose projects; slow phase of project preparation due to failure of local consultants to deliver necessary outputs like feasibility study and detailed engineering design; and conversion of developed irrigated areas to other land uses like residential, industrial and other purposes.

With involving the Private Sector through Private-Public Partnership (PPP) will accelerate irrigation development by offering other potential benefits from the irrigation projects like hydropower and floating solar power generations.

The P33.75-billion Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project (CMIPP) is the first PPP Project implemented by NIA. The project generates electricity through the 150 MW hydropower plant and divert water through a 26.27 km underground tunnel into the Pantabangan reservoir in Nueva Ecija.

CMIPP was successfully undertaken through a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) Agreement between NIA and Cal Energy Casecnan Water and Energy Company, Inc. (CECWEC) on November 13, 1994. CECWEC conducted the Turnover Ceremony of the Casecnan Hydroelectric Power Plant to NIA and PSALM on December 10, 2021.

It involves the construction of a 26.27-kilometer, 6.50-meter diameter transbasin tunnel traversing Caraballo Mountains with a capacity of 80 cubic meter per second (cms) capable of diverting at least 800 million cms of water per year to the Pantabangan Reservoir. It also involves the construction of two diversion weirs in Casecnan and Taan Rivers in Nueva Vizcaya, including 80.46-kilometer access roads that connect to local municipal and provincial road networks. Two generator sets were also installed generating a combined power of 150 MW and a 230kV Switchyard wherein the National Power Corporation’s (NPC) transmission lines were connected. The power produced in the plant is supplied to the Luzon Grid.

The impounded water in the Pantabangan reservoir expands the irrigated area of the Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation System (UPRIIS) with an additional service area of about 20,321 hectares in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pangasinan.

The pilot floating solar project at the Magat reservoir in Ramon, Isabela is by SN Aboitiz Power Group (SNAP). It is the first of its kind over a NIA facility in the country and SNAP’s first floating solar project. The NIA and SNAP switched on the 200-kilowatt pilot floating solar project on a 2,500-square meter area over the Magat reservoir on June 27, 2019.

The pilot floating solar project consists of 720 solar panels on a circular installation held in place by four mooring systems. Its design is inspired by the Amazon giant water lily. This underwent a 10-month stress test to ensure that the facility can withstand strong typhoons before expanding to a commercial capacity.

With NIA’s pursuit in developing its dams and reservoirs for renewable energy with the help of the Private Sector, the project generates clean energy while conserving land area that could potentially serve other purposes, particularly for agriculture.

At present, NIA has 50 potential irrigation projects for PPP nationwide. Of which are major or big-ticket multipurpose projects with hydropower component that can have potential floating solar power farm, and Small River Irrigation Projects (SRIPs) or the medium-sized dams with reservoir that can have potential for floating solar power farm and/or mini-hydro power plant.

Some of the potential major multipurpose projects for PPP are the Balog-Balog Multipurpose Project (Hydropower Component) in Tarlac, Ilocos Sur-Ilocos Norte-Abra Irrigation Project in Region I, Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project in Capiz, Ilaguen Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project in Isabela, and Balintingon Multipurpose Project in Nueva Ecija.

As PPP is seen to be eligible for power generation, irrigation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation infrastructure projects, NIA sees partnership with the Private Sector an opportunity to gain improved efficiency and project implementation processes in delivering services to the public, especially our farmers.

With PPP’s focus on reduced costs, better risk allocation, faster implementation, improved services and possible generation of additional revenue, the NIA Top Management Officials calls on the Private Sector in the much needed investments to Philippine agriculture.

With the PBBM’s top priority concern placed upon on the agriculture sector, NIA strongly pursues collaboration on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program to boost the Philippine irrigated agriculture.

Casecnan Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Project in Nueva Ecija

The 200-kilowatt pilot floating solar project on a 2,500-square meter area over the Magat Reservoir located in Ramon, Isabela is inspired by the Giant Water Lily


**For questions and/or clarifications, you may contact:

Department Manager A
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
Landline: (02) 8921-3741 loc. 113