EDC to amplify geothermal portfolio in five years


With a goal to further increase its geothermal power capacity, the Lopez-led Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is looking to launch at least six new projects for completion by the end of 2022 and in the next five years. 

The 3.6 megawatt (MW) Mindanao-3 binary project, the 29MW Palayan Bayan binary plant, and the 20MW Tanawon geothermal project in the Bicol region are among the four projects up for completion until next year, EDC assistant vice president and head of public relations Atty. Allan Barcena said in a report by the Manila Bulletin. 

The four projects will have an aggregate capacity of around 100 MW. 

Next in line will be EDC’s 28 MW Mahanagdong binary facility in Leyte, a greenfield project developments that include the proposed 50 MW geothermal project that will be connected to the Mindanao Grid, and a targeted Mount Zion geothermal venture neighboring the Mount Apo geothermal facility. 

Once these projects begin operations. EDC’s existing portfolio of 1,185 MW will significantly increase. 

According to Barcena, the capital infusion for the binary plants in Palayan Bayan and Mahanagdong had not been as massive as it would have been for a new conventional geothermal facility, which would require all of the facilities to be included in the entire project development chain.

He added that binary plants are less expensive because you can expand the plant’s capacity with a binary facility rather than re-injecting the brine-excess liquid.

The Tanawon project is scheduled to begin construction in the fourth quarter of next year after all required permissions have been obtained from key stakeholders and relevant government agencies, mostly for transmission connections that will be used to connect the plant’s capacity to the grid.

The EDC official further stressed that the Amacan geothermal project, which is currently being sponsored by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for a feasibility study phase, is what has been igniting their project development zest. 

The Amacan geothermal plant is estimated to be 50 megawatts (MW). The power plant is anticipated to lessen reliance on power generation from fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Barcena clarified, however, that the project might be concretized five years from now. He emphasized that after the FS phase, EDC will carry out exploratory drilling to confirm the resources, followed by the building of the facilities.

For the Mount Zion prospect, he said that the targeted construction area is close to Mount Apo, which is a protected region. As a result, EDC aims to convert the protected area into a place that will allow geothermal development.

He said that the planned Mount Zion geothermal project might be able to produce as much as the 100MW that the Mount Apo facility currently produces.