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  • By The Financial District

EDC Ramps Up Geothermal Capacity

Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) will be reinforcing its geothermal capacity with at least six new projects being lined up for completion by end-2022 and in the next five years.

Photo Insert: Upon the completion and commercial operations of these expansion projects, EDC'S aggregate capacity will be ramped up from its current portfolio of 1,185 megawatts.

Atty. Allan Barcena, assistant vice president and head of public relations at EDC, noted that four projects with aggregate capacity of roughly 100 megawatts will be up for completion until next year – including the 3.6MW Mindanao-3 binary project; the 29MW Palayan Bayan binary plant; as well as the 20MW Tanawon geothermal project in the Bicol region.

Next on the company’s project lineup will be the 28MW Mahanagdong binary facility in Leyte; then succeeding ventures will be greenfield project developments – to include the proposed 50MW geothermal project in the Mindanao grid; and the other one is the proposed Mount Zion geothermal venture, which is close to the existing Mount Apo geothermal facility.

Upon the completion and commercial operations of these expansion projects, the aggregate capacity of the company will be ramped up from its current portfolio of 1,185 megawatts.

For the binary plants in Palayan Bayan and Mahanagdong, Barcena stated that capital infusion had not been as massive compared to starting a new conventional geothermal facility wherein all of the facilities will have to be cast in the entire project development chain.

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“It’s cheaper – so instead of re-injecting the excess liquid which is the brine, you can add capacity to the plant with a binary facility,” he explained.

For the Tanawon plant, the anticipated start of construction will be the last quarter of next year; when all warranted permits have already been secured from relevant government agencies, as well as key stakeholders, primarily for transmission connection in wheeling the plant’s capacity to the grid.

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Beyond these ventures, the EDC executive stated that what has been stirring up project development zest on their part will be the Amacan geothermal project – which is currently under a feasibility study phase funded by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

“We’re excited about our new concession which is Amacan in Davao Oriental, this is the one funded by USTDA just for the feasibility study. But the area is quite big – it’s a greenfield with 50MW potential,” he stressed.

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Barcena, nevertheless, qualified that the project may still be concretized five years down the road – with him emphasizing that after the FS phase, the next to be carried out by EDC will be “exploratory drilling for confirmation of the resource and then construction of the facilities.”

For the Mount Zion prospect, he emphasized that the target is “close to Mount Apo – there’s no FS yet for that because it’s a protected area, so we’re in the process of converting the protection zone to allow geothermal development.”

He indicated that the prospective geothermal venture at Mount Zion could potentially match the 100MW capacity being yielded by the existing Mount Apo facility.

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