Geothermal energy: Tongonan, Leyte
For years, I’d only hear talks on how beautiful it is in Tongonan, Leyte – how cool the place is, elevated thousands of feet above sea level, with lots of virginal forests and wildlife – but never getting the chance to actually go and see the place. I’ve spotted that directional sign saying, “To Tongonan” hundreds of times when driving from Tacloban City to Ormoc City. Never been there… until last September. Some friends, Danny Fuentebella and Butch Celestial, asked me: would I be interested in joining their group and “camp out” in Tongonan? Gee, how could I resist such an opportunity?!
Nestled high up in the mountains in Tongonan between the municipality of Kananga and Ormoc City is the PNOC-Energy Development Corporation’s Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF).
PNOC-EDC remains to be the country’s largest producer of geothermal energy. The 107,625-hectare Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF) alone produces 708 MW. Here in this geothermal energy area, considered the largest wet steam producing field in the world, are the 112.5 MW Tongonan Production Field, the 132 MW Upper Mahiao Power Plant, the 232.5 MW Malitbog Power Plant, the 180 MW Mahanagdong A and B Plants, and the 51 MW Optimization Plants.
The Leyte geothermal plants currently supply power not only to the Eastern Visayas region, but also to Central and Western Visayas and on to Luzon via submarine cables. It is expected to serve as the linchpin of the national electric highway upon installation of another submarine cable from Leyte to Mindanao.
Due to bad weather, it was unfortunate that I couldn’t get closer photos of the plants (besides, in most areas near the power plants, taking photos is strictly prohibited for security reasons.) So what I have here are mostly panoramic shots, taken before a heavy downpour and thunderstorm suddenly set in.
The view from the Administration Building of the PNOC-EDC of the Leyte Geothermal Production Field in Tongonan, Leyte.