Dutch finance agency assures funding for Or. Mindoro geothermal plant project
POSTED: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
CALAPAN CITY – Proponents of the high-end geothermal power project in Brgy. Montelago in Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro province announced January 14 that it has secured enough funding to proceed with the said undertaking after a Dutch-owned company gave them assurance of fund investment for it.
Accordingly in a statement, the Philippine-Dutch consortium made up of Constellation Energy Corp (CEC), Emerging Power Resource Holdings, Inc. (EPRHI) and IF Technology said they have secured financing from The Netherlands Development Finance Co. (FMO) for the $170 million geothermal power project in this island province.
The consortium did not provide additional details on the Dutch development bank’s investment but company officials earlier said 30 percent of the total investment for the project would be direct equity and 70 percent would be through debt financing.
Based on the projected plan, the 44-megawatt (MW) facility will be put up along the Naujan Lake in Brgy. Montelago, Naujan, said province town, and it is expected to be operational by 2016.
According to Antonie de Wilde, EPRHI project chief executive officer, the project is targeting to supply electricity to Oriental Mindoro at a rate of P5.64 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is lower than the cost of diesel and bunker fuel plants normally being operated.
This and the island’s economic growth, which is outpacing existing power supply, has resulted in daily blackouts lasting three to four hours for Oriental Mindoro residents.
“We 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,” de Wilde said.
“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.( By JUANCHO R. MAHUSAY)