40th Anniversary of geothermal power generation at Tiwi, Philippines

40th Anniversary of geothermal power generation at Tiwi, Philippines Chevron geothermal power plant Tiwi, Albay, Philippines (source: flickr/sherwin_magayanes)
Alexander Richter 11 Jan 2019

In 1979, commercial operations started at the Tiwi geothermal power plant in Albay Province Philippines, having now produced power for 40 years.

Commercial operation of the Tiwi geothermal power plant in the Philippines started in May 1979, so now 40 years ago.

The geothermal field of Tiwi is located at Mt. Malinao in the Province of Albay in the Philippines, ca 350 km southeast of Manila.

“On May 15, 1979 the first National Power Corporation (NPC) 55MWe unit was started and over the next three years, the installed capacity was increased to 330MWe. This was a very aggressive development schedule, dictated by the need of the Philippine Government to reduce dependence on imported oil at a time when oil prices were rising significantly.

In 1982, Tiwi became the world’s first water-dominated system to produce more than 160 MW. With the start of production, reservoir pressure declined and many production wells cooled. Brine production was increased and generation decreased from ca 280 MNWe in 1983 to 190 MW in 1986. While separated brine was first injected into the reservoir, steam production was effected and now injection is outside the field.

“The field has now provided steam to the NPC power plants for 40 years and in spite of many challenges and difficulties, gross generation has averaged 157 MWe.”

During 2008, NPC’s power plant assets at both Tiwi and Mak-Ban were privatized and the winning bidder was Aboitiz Power Renewables, Inc (APRI). The formal turnover of the power plants to APRI occurred on May 25, 2009.

There are now plans for the drilling of new production wells, as we reported in August 2018.

Source: Menzies, A.J., Villasenor, L.B., Sunio, E.G. of Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings (WGC 2010)