Power firm Emerging Power Inc. (EPI) has secured an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to start drilling in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro for its $185-million geothermal power plant project.
“The ECC signifies the government’s trust and confidence in the capability of EPI to start work on our renewable energy project without disturbing the environment or the community around it,” said EPI Chairman Martin Antonio Zamora.
The ECC gives EPI the go signal to proceed with the drilling of the first geothermal well pad of the Mindoro Geothermal Power Plant that will supply an additional 40 megawatts (MW) for the whole of Mindoro island by the third quarter of 2016.
The plant is expected to cut power rates by 40 percent to P6.58 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from P11/kWh at present. This will give Mindoro power users a huge savings of P2.1 billion in four years, according to EPI estimates.
“The geothermal project will not only stabilize power supply in the island-province but will also bring down electricity costs and pave the way for downstream industries and livelihood that will improve the socio-economic conditions in Mindoro,” Zamora said.
Salvador Leachon, Oriental Mindoro First District representative, said the additional 40 MW from the geothermal plant will help boost Mindoro’s economic activities.
“We see much hope in EPI’s renewable power not only to address Mindoro’s power crisis but to help the island keep its pristine natural beauty and ecology even as it attains economic progress. EPI’s geothermal power will help eliminate our over-dependence on the use of costly and environmentally destructive fossil fuels,” Leachon said.
“EPI’s geothermal project will provide Oriental Mindoro a sustained supply of clean and affordable power, as opposed to power derived from coal and petroleum. It will also help Mindoro realize its dream of becoming the first green energy hub of the Philippines,” he added.