AP Renewables looking at 15MW extension of MakBan

Tiwi-Makban plant, Philippines
Alexander Richter 2 Mar 2011

AP Renewables is working on a possible 10-15 MW extension at its Makiling-Banahaw (MakBan) Power Plant in the Philippines using existing resources.

Reported from the Philippines, “The AP Renewables Inc. (APRI) is working on probable 10 to 15 megawatts of capacity addition from its Makiling-Banahaw (MakBan) power plant through maximized utilization of geothermal brine resource.

In an interview, APRI senior vice president for operations Michael Pierce noted that the generation of the Makban facility’s two binary units can still be uprated by up to additional 15 megawatts, “by fully utilizing existing resource.”

The proposed optimized utilization of geothermal brine, he explained, is “a matter of using a resource that has been there but has not been previously utilized…we’ve assessed that there’s additional energy that we can produce from it.”

When the MakBan asset was privatized along with the Tiwi geothermal complex in Albay, the government largely pinned its expectations that the private sector will invest further to maximize or upgrade the facility’s operations to a more efficient state.

Pierce noted the MakBan plant’s generation load has good potential to be brought up to 330 megawatts from 280MW. For the Tiwi plant, he enthused that the prospect is to bring the generation of its four units to 57MW each or an aggregate 228MW.

With decisive capital allocation and more efficient operations of the privatized assets, it is hoped that Luzon grid’s tight supply condition may be partly eased with the uprated capacity of some power assets.

Particularly for the MakBan plant, it was integrated in the privatization package that the buyer will pursue the rehabilitation of its 5 and 6 generation units. This is to comply with a commitment made by previous owner National Power Corporation (NPC) in its geothermal resource sales contract (GRSC) with steam supplier Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings Inc. (previously Unocal Corporation) on the rehab of the generation facilities.

The Aboitiz group already earmarked $150 million investment for the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the two facilities. The rehab work will be implemented over four years from turnover date.

The facility buyer then has anticipated bringing the two plants’ dependable capacity to around 500 megawatts, but if based on current indications, they can easily top that goal.”

Source: Manila Bulletin