Mindoro geothermal site capable of 40 MW

Posted on March 27, 2015

EMERGING POWER, Inc. (EPI) said it confirmed a geothermal resource of up to 40 megawatts (MW) at its concession site in Oriental Mindoro.

The renewable energy developer said in a statement yesterday that it found the site “capable of producing 40 MW of power for the Montelago Geothermal Power Project in 2017.”

The drilling activity was done with the help of Quest Exploration Drilling, Inc. (QED).

“We are pleased by the success of our exploration drilling work in Naujan,” EPI Chairman Antonio G. Zamora said in the statement.

“It shows we have the geothermal resources needed to produce close to our target of 40 MW power,” he added.

Mr. Zamora said QED worked with geothermal consultants Iceland Geosurvey (ISOR) and the Magister Geothermal Program of the Institute Teknologi Bandung for the exploratory activity.

It involved the digging of two small holes and thermal measurements, returning a reading of 181 degrees Celsius (?C) -- even higher than the 170?C initially estimated.

“We were able to start flow testing last Wednesday. Because of this successful small hole drilling, EPI expects to award the production well drilling soon,” Mr. Zamora said.

Antonie de Wilde, EPI chief technical officer, said based on “flow testing obtained during the last days, we are very pleased to confirm that our earlier assessment of a reservoir with the capacity to generate a minimum of 35 to 40 MW, is now confirmed with actual measured data.”

Drilling activities on the site started in December. This is one of the activities necessary to bring the planned geothermal plant into commercial operation.

The $185-million project straddles barangays Montelago, Montemayor and Melgar-B in the municipality of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

It is expected to result in lower power rates of P6.58 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh), from the current P11/kWh -- equivalent to P2.1 billion savings over a period of two years. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano