EDC shuts down Northern Negros plant for studies on capacity increase

EDC shuts down Northern Negros plant for studies on capacity increase Northern Negros Geothermal Field of EDC, Philippines (source: EDC)
Alexander Richter 22 Nov 2010

Energy Development Corp. (EDC) temporarily shuts down 49 MW Northern Negros geothermal plant for additional technical studies that are to help increase the capacity of the plant.

Reported from the Philippines, “Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has temporarily shut down its 49-megawatt Northern Negros geothermal power plant to conduct additional technical studies that will help increase its capacity.

The planned technical studies will last for nine months at an estimated cost of P6 million, according to EDC senior vice president for technical services, Manuel Ogena.

Ogena explained that the decision to shut down the Negros facility starting midnight Sunday was confirmed by US- and New Zealand-based consultants, who were tapped to also study the geothermal resource and facility which has been generating only less than a fifth of its rated capacity since last year.

“Our findings have been validated by the international third party experts we engaged to study the resource. They confirmed that the area is challenging and that further technical studies are needed,” Ogena said.

“Admittedly, this will entail more investments and time but we are determined to make the resource viable for the province to benefit from clean, indigenous energy,” he added.

Ogena explained that the power plant and steamfield needed to be shut down while technical studies are being conducted as the survey will need zero disturbance of the reservoir. During the shutdown, EDC has committed to continue implementing its environmental management and community relations programs that have long benefited stakeholders.

The EDC official further noted that the power plant has long been due for preventive maintenance since June 2010 but the Lopez-led firm decided to defer it due to the tight power supply in the Visayas during that time.

“Now that several new power plants are coming in and some units of the geothermal plants of Green Core Geothermal have been rehabilitated, it is also a good time for us to conduct the maintenance work,” Ogena said.

EDC president and COO Richard B. Tantoco earlier said that the company was still way short of its target for the Northern Negros power station, which has a steam supply of only 7 MW for a 49 MW plant. Since 2007, this geothermal facility, which is EDC’s first fully-owned power plant, had actually been operating under capacity.

As such, EDC has already drafted a resource development plan and has commissioned a third party (consultants) to review the company’s plans prior to taking a final decision on what to do next with NNGP.

Data from the Department of Energy earlier showed that EDC has allocated some P6.57 billion for the Northern Negros power facility within a five-year period.”

Source: Business Inquirer