Chevron to sign exploration contract in the Philippines
Chevron is expected to sign an exploration contract in the Philippines province of Kalinga, for a project site of 17,580 hectares.
Reported from the Philippines, the country’s “Kalinga province may yet catapult the country into the map of the world’s leading geothermal energy producers once a ground steam project supported by Chevron Corp. in three towns here begins to generate electricity.
The power would come from Pasil, Tinglayan and Lubuagan towns which the Guidance Management Corp. (GMC) and Aragorn Power and Energy Corp., both Metro Manila-based energy conglomerates, found to have very promising geothermal resources as early as two years ago.
Governor Floydelia Diasen said the contract for the formal exploration of energy power would be signed before President Macapagal-Arroyo ends her term on June 30.
Diasen said local officials and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) supported the project after community leaders and residents in nine of 11 ancestral domain areas covered by the project consented to the exploration.
The project site would involve 17,580 hectares in the ancestral domains of Balatoc, Dalupa-Ableg, Dangtalan, Guina-ang and Culayo in Pasil town; Uma in Lubuagan town; and Sumadel, Bangad, Tulgao, Dananao and Tongrayan in Tinglayan town.
The NCIP said except for the tribes in Sumadel and Tulgao, which still have some concerns, the rest of the tribes have completed their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process.
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (Republic Act No. 8371) requires all development projects in areas where there are indigenous peoples to undergo an FPIC process to find out the people’s sentiments.
Natividad Sugiyao, NCIP Kalinga chief, said the FPIC gave positive results. “The FPIC process was strictly followed and all stakeholders were informed and [they] participated [in the consultations],” she said.
“The people of Kalinga considered their lands as sacred. When they gave their consent to the project, it meant they understood and found merit in the long term advantages of the project,” Diasen said.
Jack Rodriguez, GMC chair, earlier informed local officials that Chevron Corp., the world’s biggest corporate investor for geothermal projects, would bankroll the Kalinga geothermal project.
A megawatt of geothermal energy needed an investment of at least $3 million, Rodriguez said.
He said more than P50 billion would be needed to finish the project.
But with Chevron Corp., Rodriguez said the capital needed to develop the project based on its timetable—100 megawatts (MW) by 2013 and 300 MW a few years later—would be assured.
Diasen said GMC officials told her that once the province’s geothermal capacity is fully harnessed, it would make the Philippines the world’s top geothermal power producer.”