The Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) project is shifting to a renewable energy source through the 140-megawatt (MW) Bacman Geothermal Power Plant.
In a contract signed earlier this year, NovaBala Joint Venture Corporation (NBJVC) entered into an agreement with First Gen Corporation’s Bacman Geothermal Inc. for the supply of 900 kilowatts of electricity per month to the project facility in Quezon City. The initiative was a joint effort between NBJVC and First Gen whose teams worked around the clock to facilitate the changeover.
NBAQ4 commercial manager Nigel Jackson said: “Transitioning away from conventional energy sources to clean energy was driven by the JV board at the inception of the project as an economically smart choice.
“In addition to saving money, it also helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels and that is absolutely critical to protecting the health of all Filipinos, now and for generations to come.”
First Balfour pollution control officer Jennifer Padillo noted that the project’s annual energy consumption is equivalent to 2,970 metric tons of carbon dioxide, comparable to the energy use of 343 households in one year.
One of the largest and most important infrastructure projects Manila Water Company Inc. (MWCI) has undertaken to date, the NBAQ4 project involves the construction of a new intake facility at the La Mesa reservoir, a 7.3-kilometer underground aqueduct passing under Commonwealth Avenue and an outlet facility at the Balara Water Treatment Plant.
A tunnel boring machine (TBM) is being used to build the aqueduct—the first time in the Philippines a TBM is used in an urban setting.
Project manager Rod Scott said: “Our tunnel boring machine and equipment are operating 24 hours a day, consuming around 2 megawatts of power. To operate using renewable energy generated from the Bacman Geothermal Plant is without doubt a fantastic achievement. It is the right thing to do. This also paves the way in fulfilling our parent company’s mission of ‘forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.’”
Project completion of NBAQ4, which aims to deliver bulk water from La Mesa Dam to Balara in Quezon City, is at 77%.
NBJVC is composed of CMC di Ravenna (Italy), First Balfour (Philippines) and Chun Wo Engineering (Hong Kong). In August 2017, it signed the designand-build contract for the aqueduct project which is a collaboration among MWCI, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, NBJVC and Ove Arup. (Story/Photos by: Dolly Pasia-Ramos)