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Roads leading to Oriental Negros
« on: November 21, 2017, 04:43:41 PM »
Invest in Valencia, PGMA urges power-intensive industries
by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (30 August 2005) -- Investors whose industries rely heavily on electricity may soon find their roads leading to Oriental Negros after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo openly invited investors yesterday to invest in the province's geothermal power-heavy town of Valencia.

Pres. Arroyo said that investors can find economic relief in the 50 percent electric bill subsidy enjoyed by Valencia town as host to the geothermal steamfields of Philippine National Oil Company this side of Central Visayas, particularly in the midst of apprehensions of an impending oil crisis

The President made the invitation during her visit to Oriental Negros yesterday to inspect the proposed P1.7-billion Palinpinon geothermal expansion project of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) in Sitio Nasulo, Brgy. Puhagan, Valencia.

Valencia's 50 percent electric bill subsidy is shaved off from 80 percent of the multi-million royalty tax it is receiving from PNOC.

PNOC is tapping geothermal energy from Valencia's three hinterland barangays of Puhagan, Caidiocan and Malaunay through power plants producing roughly 195.5 megawatts of geothermal power.

For this year, the municipal government is receiving a royalty tax at an average of P12,664,000 M per quarter.

In his briefing before the President, PNOC President Paul Aquino said the Palinpinon geothermal project has the highest percentage utilization in the country of about 88 percent, making it the most efficient Napocor power plant in the country today.

PNOC is building what will be the third power plant in Palinpinon, a 20MW geothermal plant in Brgy. Puhagan costing about P1.7 billion and is pegged to generate between 20 to 25 MW of geothermal power out of the excess steam in Palinpinon geothermal plants.

Congratulating PNOC and Napocor for this project, Pres. Arroyo said, "it is important that we move away from oil-based fuel" as she disclosed that Philippines is now the no. 1 user of geothermal power in the world.

With the shadow of a power crisis looming ahead, the President has been inspecting energy projects around the country to promote the use of alternative fuel, paving the way for the country to attain independence from foreign oil supply.

Pres. Arroyo has proposed to Congress a P1.05T national budget for 2006 as a strategic weapon against the looming oil crisis and poverty.

According to local Napocor manager Engr. Rodolfo Pacaña, in 2004, the government was able to save on almost 2 million barrels of oil due to the operation of its various geothermal plants nationwide. "If we can load up to 100 percent to our quarry units, we can save around 2,772,000 barrels of crude oil every year."

The surge in oil prices in the world market is seen to ripple its way harshly into the country's economy. Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said that in 2004, the country's oil import bill was pegged at $4.5 billion, while from January to May 2005, the country's oil already hit $2.31 billion.

Lotilla said that if the price of oil in the world market hikes up by another $10, the country's oil import bill would soar to $5.5 billion by yearend. (PIA)

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