Cheap geothermal electricity offered to Biliran

NAVAL, Biliran—A local geothermal firm and its partner from Iceland, Orka Energy, is set to put up a 49 MW power plant to supply the electricity needs of this small island on the northern tip of Leyte, officials said.

Eirikur Bragasson, Chief Executive Officer of ORKA Energy, said construction of the power plant was the second phase of its joint project with Biliran Geothermal Inc (BGI) to make the island energy self-reliant in the next two years.

“We’ve finished the first stage and now we’re into the second stage, which is putting up the power plant ...The project here has very strong geothermal energy resources,” Bragasson told a press conference on Tuesday.

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the earth. About 24 countries use geothermal power, which is cost effective, reliable, sustainable and environment friendly.

ORKA and BGI are set to enter into an agreement with Toshiba for its turbine and

operational works. The project is expected to hire more than 600 workers for its engineering, steel works, pipeline, machineries and construction.

The geothermal plant will mean cheaper electricity rates for the people of Biliran, Leyte and the nearby provinces, Bragasson said.

New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Evermore, who joined Bragasson and other officials of ORKA and BGI congratulated officials involved in the project because of its great potential and “not every country in the world has the same opportunity as the Philippines in terms of geothermal energy potential.”

“I am happy for this project. One of our objectives is to try to contribute and work on renewable energy ... More jobs will be created in Biliran and important energy needs will be met,” Evermore said.

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