Philippine-Dutch consortium to develop 20 MW Montelago project

Philippine-Dutch consortium to develop 20 MW Montelago project Company representatives meet with Congressman Valencia, Montelago, Philippines (source: Constellation Energy Corp.)
Alexander Richter 10 Apr 2013

Constellation Energy Corp. (CEC), Emerging Power Resource Holdings Inc. (EPRHI) and Netherland-based IF Technology consortium announce they are going to develop a 20MW geothermal power plant in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

Reported today from the Philippines, “Constellation Energy Corp. (CEC), Emerging Power Resource Holdings Inc. (EPRHI) and Netherland-based IF Technology consortium is building a 20MW geothermal power plant in Oriental Mindoro to make the island-province self-reliant in renewable energy power.

Constellation Energy Corp. (CEC) Chairman Jose P. Leviste, Jr. said the project is in full swing with their Dutch partners and experts from all over the world already completing CSMT (Controlled Source Magnetotelluric) Survey and government endorsement of the early commissioning of the project in Montelago, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

CEC is developing the Montelago project under a Geothermal Renewable Energy Service Contract granted by the Department of Energy (DOE) and will initially build a 20MW power plant on-site. The geothermal field, according to the initial survey, has potential for as much as 70MW.

Dutchman Dr. Antonie de Wilde, EPRHI Project CEO, explained, the 20MW geothermal plant will provide baseload capacity with as much as 90% availability. Once the Montelago plant is operational, he added, it would be a big factor in providing a reliable and secure source of power and in stabilizing retail electricity rates. The generation component of overall power cost is normally the highest, and even more so in the island grids.

In Mindoro, electricity is distributed by the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) which resulted from the merger of two electric coops that used to serve the province’s two congressional districts, separately. ORMECO now covers all the 14 municipalities and the capital city of Calapan and sources its power from National Power Corp., Global Business Power and the Dulangan Mini-Hydro Plant which supplies about 1.2 MW of ORMECO’s requirements. Recently, ORMECO signed up on a 48MW supply contract for wind power.

Geothermal power is expected to balance out ORMECO’s generation mix.

Mindoro’s population is presently under 1 million but with its vast agricultural tracts and being strategically located in the geographic center of Luzon and the Visayas, its main produce in agriculture have access to markets and major consumption centers like Batangas and Metro Manila in Luzon, Cebu and Panay island down South and also Palawan to its West. There are also plans to open up the province to manufacturing, especially in areas where it has a competitive advantage.

De Wilde said they are confident that the addition of geothermal power into the province’s present mix of electricity sources will have a stabilizing effect on the grid. The geothermal base load is best suited for an island grid’s shift from bunker fuel to renewables, because it is not seasonal and has higher availability. “The stability or reliability investors will seek can be provided by geothermal power,” he added.

Tapping geothermal power in the country dates back to 1977, when the first geothermal plant, small scale at about 3MW, was inaugurated in Leyte. Since then, the Philippines has become the second-highest producer of geothermal power, next only to the United States. Today, the Tiwi-Makban fields in Luzon and Tongonan steam fields in Leyte are among the country’s highest producers of geothermal electricity.

Situated on the so-called ring of fire, the country has vast geothermal potentials. CEC, together with its technical and financial partners, is one of many companies and groups identifying and developing geothermal steam fields. Other than the Montelago project, CEC is also developing other energy projects in Biliran province and Negros Island.

Richard Rijkers and Guus Willemsen of IF Technology, one of Europe’s leading geothermal engineering companies based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, joined Leviste and De Wilde in inspecting the Montelago project site recently. The group has special expertise in deep geothermal energy systems, aquifer thermal energy storage, borehole thermal energy storage, closed-loop heat pump systems and well engineering.

IF Technology is supported by the Geothermal Program of the Institute of Technology, Bandung (ITB), Indonesia.  CEC, on the other hand, has tie ups with FEDCO or Filtech Energy Drilling Corp., represented by Bernardo Tolentino. FEDCO is a Philippine-based company that pools the combined expertise and experience of the country’s pioneers in geothermal power, erstwhile of the PNOC-EDC.”

Source: Company release by email