Philippine DOE assisting Maibarara project to be implemented

Alexander Richter 21 May 2010

The Philippine DOE is assisting the Maibarara geothermal project in Luzon, led by Trans-Asia (EDC).

In news from the Philippines, it is said that by “bidding to spur the speedy development of one of the country’s geothermal prospects, the Department of Energy (DOE) has assured that it will ensure that the 20-megawatt (MW) Maibarara geothermal power project will be implemented as scheduled.

“Energy security is a critical issue and it is one that hounds the country, particularly the Mindanao region, for decades. It is fitting then that on the heels of the perceived issues in energy security, we have the Maibarara Geothermal Power Project which will add 20-mW to the Luzon Grid by 2013,” Acting Energy Secretary Jose Ibazeta said in his keynote address during the joint-venture signing.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. (Trans-Asia) earlier said it entered into a joint venture with PetroGreen Energy Corp. and Philippine National Oil Co.-Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC).

Trans-Asia said the the joint venture will be for the integrated development and operation of the Maibarara geothermal project in Batangas and Laguna.

Trans-Asia added that as part of the joint-venture agreement, they will organize the Maibarara Geothermal Inc. (MGI) capitalized at P1.125 billion (US$25million) with Trans-Asia, PetroGreen and PNOC-RC holding a stake in the company of 25-, 65-, and 10-percent, respectively.

“We [DOE] will assist in ensuring that the project will be implemented as scheduled, as this joint-venture agreement will be well on its way to providing more than just electric power in the country,” Ibazeta said.

He added that the DOE’s approach to development is multi-tiered where power infrastructures provide electricity, contribute to local employment, and increase businesses and local revenues for the host community of the power plant.

“What is equally important is the fact that the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 is at work and the incentives offered for this project are sufficient. By this show of confidence in the investment climate of the country, we anticipate more projects the not-too-distant future,” he said.

Ibazeta said the country’s extensive renewable energy sources should be put to good use in the fulfillment of the government’s mandate to provide access to cleaner, quality and reasonably priced energy.

He said that the country might be far from actually maximizing the renewable energy potential.

“But it is our obligation to future generations that they benefit from our choices. The choices that we make today will clearly make a difference tomorrow,” he added.

“We view the development of our renewable energy sources as an extension of our sustainable development paradigm. We are convinced that continued private and public cooperation, such as this one, will help the country attract more investors,” Ibazeta said.

DOE awarded the Maibarara geothermal service contract to PetroEnergy Resources Corp. – parent company of PetroGreen, on Feb. 1, 2010.

Trans-Asia said PetroEnergy will assign the said contract to MGI which will be subject the DOE’s approval.

Trans-Asia said MGI aims to develop the Maibarara steamfield located at the western flank of Mount Makiling and commission the first 20-mW power plant by the second half of 2013.

Trans-Asia added that the total project cost may reach P2.8 billion (US$60 million or about US$3million/ MW).

During the first two years of the service contract, MGI will undertake at a total estimated cost of $12 to 18 million, information and education campaigns, environmental permitting, road rehabilitation, work-over and discharge tests of old wells, drilling of up to two wells (if needed), detailed engineering studies and initial civil works for the steam field and power plant.”

Source: Business Mirror