Drilling for $180-M Mindoro geothermal project starts July
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-owned renewable energy company Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) begins in July this year the drilling operations for the US$180-million Mindoro geothermal project.
The Department of Energy (DOE) granted the geothermal renewable energy service contract to EPI, which will start providing electricity by mid-2016.
The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Thursday, June 5, gave the green light to EPI, following PAMB’s approval of a resolution declaring the land site of Montelago, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro as a multi-use zone.
Harnessing geothermal energy is expected to generate significant savings, decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and help reduce pollution since some gases released are deemed environment-friendly.
The EPI geothermal project will be established in barangays Montelago, Montemayor, and Melgar-B in Naujan municipality. The project will provide 40 (MW) of power, with Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro each receiving 20 MW.
EPI has also signed Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) with Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO) and Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO), raising optimism among Mindoreños dealing with recent power outages in the island.
Earlier this year, DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla hailed the geothermal project as an important milestone for Mindoro and the Philippines as a whole. “Geothermal is a big step toward realizing our dream of a sustained and affordable electricity,” he said during the PSA signing between ORMECO and EPI.
Oriental Mindoro second district representative and energy committee chairman Rey Umali earlier welcomed the geothermal project’s entry to Mindoro as “the embodiment of the promise of EPIRA [Electric Power Industry Reform Act], for the Philippines to have reliable, renewable, sustainable, and affordable energy.”
The Philippines is said to be the second largest producer of geothermal power in the world—next to the United States, with a total geothermal power capacity of 1,977.69 MW, DOE cited in its website. The first geothermal plant under the Aquino administration, the 20 MW Maibarara power plant began commercial operations in Sto. Tomas, Batangas February 8, 2014. – Rappler.com