THE island-province of Oriental Mindoro is looking toward the completion of two projects that will not only address the power shortage problem but also give rise to another potential tourism spot in the island currently known for its beaches.
Outgoing Rep. Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro said that, the construction of a 20-megawatt geothermal power plant by the Constellation Energy Corp. (CEC) in Barangay Montelago, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro will be the answer to the crippling power outages that have hit the province.
Oriental Mindoro have been suffering from three-to-four times daily power outages that stem from its over-dependence on bunker fuel and the increasing demand for electricity because of the growing economy.
The new power plant project that runs on geothermal energy means clean energy unlike bunker fuel, which is expensive and also contributes to pollution.
Officials of New energy player CEC—along with Emerging Power Resources Holdings Inc. (Eprhi) and the Dutch company IF Technology (IFT) maintained that the new geothermal plant could address the power problem because it has the capacity to generate up to 70 megawatts of electric power.
Besides the geothermal power plant, the CEC-Eprhi-IFT consortium is also planning to build a hot spring and wellness center in the 8,000-hectare Naujan Lake area, which is expected to further boost tourism in the province.
Naujan lake is the country’s fifth largest lake which is recognized as a “wetland of national importance”
The Association of Mindoreños (TAM), has welcomed the twin projects, saying that “wellness tourism is good and appropriate” for Oriental Mindoro.
CEC chair Jose Leviste Jr. said the hot spring and wellness center would become an entirely new attraction for Mindoro, which is now known for its world-class beaches and resorts to include Puerto Galera.
Dr. Antonie de Wilde, Eprhi chief executive officer, said the geothermal project would provide baseload capacity with as much as 90 percent availability and would be a big factor in providing a reliable and secure source of power and in stabilizing retail electricity rates in the island-province.
CEC, together with its technical and financial partners, is one of the 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.