Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Philippine president to inaugurate new geothermal power plant

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace tomorrow the ceremonial launching of the 458-megawatt Makban geothermal power plant to highlight the Philippines’ position as the second largest producer of geothermal energy next only to the United States.

The President will lead the Aboitiz Power Launch on Wednesday night at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

The MakBan geothermal plant was acquired by the Aboitiz Power Corp. (APC) last year from the implementation of reforms in the energy industry.

Among those who will welcome the President are Aboitiz Chairperson Endika Aboitiz, Aboitiz Vice Chairman Jon Ramon Aboitiz, and APC president & CEO Erramon Aboitiz.

Assisting her are Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Zenaida Ducut.

The APC is expected to present to the President their CleanEnergy symbol of commitment for sustainable energy development.

Last year, the government-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) turned over the 289-megawatt (MW) Tiwi and 458.53-MW Makiling-Banahaw (MakBan) geothermal power plants to APC after winning the bidding to operate the plant.

At the Tiwi-Makban geothermal power plant, 10-15 new geothermal wells are being eyed for drilling by Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. (APRI) and Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings Inc. (CGPHI) within the next 3 years.

Each well is expected to produce about 7 to 8 MW of power. Exploration is expected to start by the 2nd quarter of 2010.

APC is planning to invest $150 million over the next four to five years to rehabilitate the Tiwi-Makban facilities and increase power generating capacity from 462 MW to 517 MW.

The Aboitiz group said that they are positioning themselves to be the premiere clean energy producer in the country by tapping renewable energy sources to fuel their power plants.

Aboitiz Power and its partners represent the largest private renewable energy producer in the country, with several hydro and geothermal assets in its generation portfolio. Aboitiz Power also owns the 2nd and 3rd largest distribution utilities known for their operational efficiency.

Currently, Aboitiz is operating several hydro-electric power plants in the country aside from holding electricity distribution rights in Mindanao and in the Visayas. (PND)

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