EDC plans spending US$1 billion over the next 5 years

Alexander Richter 15 Nov 2009

The largest geothermal company in the Philippines, EDCis planning to spend P50.2 billion (US$1 billion) to further develop its five existing geothermal service contract areas over the next five years.

According to local news, “EDC, the country’s biggest producer of geothermal energy, has committed to pour in some P50.2 billion (US$1 billion) to further develop its five existing geothermal service contract areas over the next five years.

The contracts for these areas have been recently converted by the Department of Energy into renewable energy service contracts, which would allow the Lopez-led firm to tap the incentives provided under the Renewable Energy Law.

The fiscal and non-fiscal incentives included a seven-year income tax holiday.

Documents from the DOE showed that the bulk of the spending or about P22.7 billion would be allocated for the 112.5-megawatt (MW) Tongonan 1 geothermal power plant in Leyte, while another P6.74 billion would be used for the 192.5-MW Palinpinon facility in Negros Oriental.

It was only late last month that EDC assumed the operations of the two power plants after winning the bidding in September. Its $220-million bid edged out the Aboitiz group’s offer of $200 million.

Part of the amount may likely be used for a planned rehabilitation of the facilities to have them operating at their maximum capacities.

EDC earlier said it expected to complete the rehabilitation of the facilities within a year or two.

Meanwhile, EDC committed to spend P8.1 billion over the next five years to expand the 150-MW Bacon-Manito geothermal power facility.

The documents showed that EDC also plans to invest P6.11 billion for its 108-MW Mindanao geothermal production field in Mt. Apo, within the North Cotabato/Davao areas.

Another P6.57 billion will also be allocated for the Northern Negros power plant in Negros Occidental within a five-year period, DOE data showed.

It was only in May this year that EDC recommissioned its 49-MW Northern Negros facility after being shut down for almost a year due to insufficient steam production.

EDC had said that the decline in steam production was mainly due to the “clogging of the wells by calcite minerals found in the current geothermal field. The clogging prevents the wells from releasing the steam from its very source underneath the earth.”

However, the steam field is expected to produce steam good for only 15 to 18 MW of electricity due to the small area of operation. Since 2007, the Northern Negros geothermal facility had actually been operating under capacity.”

Source: Inquirer – Business