First Posted 07:00 PM 08/23/2008
The much awaited development of the geothermal power reserve in the province of Biliran will finally be realized as its surface exploration will finally start next month.
Gudmundur F. , who is with, Sigrun Elsa Smaradottir, Reykjavik City Councilor and member of the Board of Reykjavik Energy and the Board of Energy Reykjavik Energy Invest, Nilo Apuada, Head of the Geothermal Project of Envent Holdings Philippines Incorporated, Raffy Salazar of PNOC-EDC and George Tiopes, the husband of Director Karina Rosa Tiopes of the Department of Tourism in region 8 in a press conference held at the Biliran Garden Resort today, said that the surface exploration will start by next month.
On the other hand, Apuada informed that they are now waiting for the clearance from the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in region 8 particularly from the Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) for its issuance for the project to start by next month.
(from left) Sigrun Elsa Smaradottir and Gudmundur F. Sigurjonsson
The Managing Director in Asia Pacific of Reykjavik Energy Invest informed that this is the first geothermal development project undertaken by Reykjavik Energy Invest (REI), a global leader in the development of renewable energy with specific focus on geothermal energy, here in the Philippines
This is an ambitious project that they have to jumpstart in the country since their firm is committed to the Department of Energy thru Secretary Angelo T. Reyes and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to provide part of the 1, 200 MW needed by the country by 2013 during the signing of the contract agreement between their firm and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on July 10, 2008, Sigurjonsson added.
The Envent Managing Director added that if the surface exploration that cost $1M can start by next month, it is expected that it will be finished by May of next year.
He added that it will cost from $16M to $19M for the drilling of the two geothermal wells found in Sitio Pulangyuta in Barangay Cabibihan and Barangay Villavicenta in Caibiran and the other one found in Barangay Libtong in Naval.
According to Sigurjonsson, an investment of $125M is expected to be financed by their firm for a 50 MW source of geothermal energy that will be taken from the project. It is expected that the geothermal project in Biliran province can produce up to 100 MW
He estimated that the project duration will cover for four years from now before they can have a full operation of the project and that is geothermal energy is already there ready for commercial purposes.
“I’ll be here in the province of Biliran as often as possible to oversee the project” he assured.
As to the environmental concern, he assured that the project will not pose any environmental risk and danger in the province of Biliran since they have made an extensive environmental assessment and study before they will implement the geothermal project like what they have done in similar projects they have in other parts of the world and even in his own country in Iceland.
Sigurjonsson gladly informed Vice-Governor Lucila Curso and the rest of the provincial board members present during the press conference that the project will surely give lots of benefits to the province of Biliran since the surface exploration alone is a labor intensive endeavor where it needs substantial number of manpower services from Biliranons.
For his part, Caibiran Vice-Mayor Eulalio Maderazo who is also present in the press congerence, said that he will inform the people living near the vicinity of the project so they will know what it is all about. -BiliranIsland.com