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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 25) – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Governor Benigno R. Fitial toured one of the geothermal plants in the Philippines during his short visit early this week, according to Press Secretary Charles Reyes Jr.

He said the governor met with Philippine officials of Chevron Corp., one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.

Located in Albay, a province about 190 miles south-east of Manila, the geothermal plant impressed the governor who was with Finance Secretary Eloy Inos. The two returned to the CNMI on Wednesday noon.

"He wanted to see the successful operation in the Philippines because he’s still very optimistic about securing geothermal energy sources in the volcanic Northern Islands," Reyes said.

Chevron markets a full line of petroleum products in the Philippines, including motor gasoline, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel oil and more than 200 brands of lubricating oils and greases.

In 1971, Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings Inc. pioneered the commercial development of geothermal resources in partnership with the Philippine government.

The company operates steam fields that provide geothermal energy to the Tiwi and Mak-Ban power plants in Albay, Laguna and Batangas provinces.

Those plants supply seven percent of the power demand on Luzon — the country’s larget and most populous island.

Due to the company’s innovative efforts, the Philippines is now the second-largest producer of geothermal energy in the world after the United States.

Chevron is the largest producer of geothermal energy in the world.

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