Marking 45 years of EDC’s geothermal work in the Philippines

Marking 45 years of EDC’s geothermal work in the Philippines 193 MW Palinpinon geothermal plant, Leyte, Philippines (source: First Holdings, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 27 Mar 2021

Lopez-owned Energy Development Corp. (EDC) celebrates 45 years since its foundation and bringing geothermal power to the Philippines.

With the establishment of the geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the Philippines 45 years ago, the Philippines made a huge step towards reducing its dependence on imported fuels. The goal was to replace import of fuel utilising geothermal energy, an indigenous natural resource of  the country.

Part of the Philippines National Oil  Company PNOC), the company was privatized with an IPO in 2006  and acquired by the Lopez Group. It still lives up to its mandate to generate low carbon, clean power and may have expanded its portfolio to include solar, wind, and hydro but geothermal remains as its core business.

The company set up the country’s first geothermal power plant, a 3 MW wellhead unit, that started operations in July 1977, followed by larger-scale commercial production of geothermal power starting in 1979 with the commissioning of a 110-megawatt plant at Tiwi field in Albay province. To this day, the geothermal plants of EDC in Southern Negros in the Visayas region play a major role.

“Our country needs a reliable, stable source of clean, renewable power, which only geothermal energy or Geo 24/7, can provide to power the economy and lower its carbon footprint,” said Engr. Debonaire T. Mamhot, head of EDC’s Negros Island geothermal facility.

The province of Negros Oriental is blessed to be located in the country’s renewable energy (RE) hub, with geothermal energy accounting for over 25.1% or 955 MW of the Visayas region’s 1,667MW total installed RE capacity. This is equivalent to 43.8% of the region’s 3,809MW total installed capacity as of 2019, according to the Department of Energy’s 2019 power situation report.

Over 220 MW of this comes from EDC’s Southern Negros geothermal facility in Valencia, Negros Oriental, and its 112.5MW Palinpinon-1 providing uninterrupted source of Geo 24/7 to the Visayas region for over 37 years.

With its activities EDC also plays a major role in the local economy supporting local communities and businesses, e.g. through providing internet services and more.

“Being regenerative is about creating shared value which enables EDC to provide that much needed clean, renewable, stable Geo 24/7 to power our country and lower its carbon footprint as we strive to ensure that life and progress go on for our communities—with or without this invisible enemy,” said Norreen G. Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility team in Negros Island.

EDC’s over 1,480MW total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity. It’s almost 1,200MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.

Source: Negros  Chronicle