Friday, 30 July 2010

EDC to put up geothermal plants worth $1B

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

ENERGY DEVELOPMENT Corp., the country’s biggest producer of geothermal energy, plans to invest some $1 billion over the next five years in greenfield power plants.

This move is expected to help propel EDC to become the top geothermal company in the world over the next three to five years.

The power firm plans to put up geothermal facilities that could generate a total of 230 megawatts (MW) within its existing concession areas, EDC president Richard B. Tantoco said during a briefing following the company’s stockholders’ meeting.

EDC also wants to start the construction of its 86-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, sometime late this year or early next year, he added.

According to Tantoco, the company may spend as much as $3.5 million to produce a megawatt of geothermal power through its greenfield facilities, and about $2.5 million per megawatt for its wind power project.

Aside from the $1-billion investment needed for the new power plants, EDC has also earmarked a combined capital expenditure of P20.6 billion for projects to be undertaken this year until 2015. The amount will be used to rehabilitate existing power plants, conduct further drilling activities and improve the company’s facilities.

He further revealed that, for this year alone, the company had allocated close to P7 billion for capital expenditure.

In particular, the greenfield expansion and rehabilitation projects that are expected to be completed by 2015 will include the 150-MW Bacman geothermal plant and the 86-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte (2012); the 40-MW Tanawon and 20-MW Nasulo geothermal projects (2013); 50-MW Mindanao 3 geothermal project (2014); and the 40-MW Rangas geothermal project and 40-MW Kayabon project (2015).

Overall, Tantoco said the general target was to increase the company’s attributable generating capacity by 38 percent to 1,542 MW, from the current 1,116 MW, within a five-year period starting 2011.

“We are now in a position to decisively move on to our organic expansion after successfully acquiring all the National Power Corp. assets we targeted,” he said.

“We will be drilling in the Tanawon field of the Bacman concession by September. By July 2011, we will have a total of four rigs in Tanawon and one in Mindanao, all working to deliver the fuel supply for our growth projects,” Tantoco added.

EDC’s steamfield and power plant operations are now fully integrated with the acquisition of the 112.5-MW Tongonan 1, 192.5-MW Palinpinon and 150-MW Bacman geothermal plants from Napocor.

EDC also owns and operates the Unified Leyte plants, consisting of the 125-MW Upper Mahiao, 180-MW Mahanagdong, 232-MW Malitbog and 51-MW optimization plants.

To date, EDC remains the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines, accounting for 62 percent of the total country installed geothermal capacity. Aside from geothermal, EDC also owns and operates the 122-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric plants.

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