Aboitiz, Chevron eye more drillings at Tiwi-Makban geothermal fields
- Donnabelle L. Gatdula () - July 13, 2009 - 12:00am

TIWI, Albay, Philippines – Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. (APRI) and Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings Inc. (CGPHI) are studying the possibility of drilling 10-15 more geothermal wells within the next three years at the Tiwi-Makban geothermal fields.

CGPHI president and general manager Antonio Yee told reporters who visited the Tiwi power facilities here that they are expected to spend between $5 million to $6 million for the exploration of one well.

A well, Yee said, could generate seven to eight megawatts of power.

“We are still in the process of evaluating and discussing the cost recovery sharing with APRI,” he said.

Based on initial discussions, CGPHI would shoulder 45 percent of the drilling cost while APRI will pour in 55 percent.

APRI recently took over the operation of the Tiwi-Makban power plants from Napocor. These power facilities utilize geothermal energy produced from CGPHI’s steamfields.

Yee said they expect to firm up the agreement with APRI within the year and start the proposed drilling of new wells within the second quarter of 2010.

The CGPHI executive said at the moment, the two companies are focusing on maximizing the existing capacities of the Tiwi-Makban geothermal power facilities.

At present, the Tiwi power plants are running at around 175 MW. If optimized, these facilities could increase its capacity to more than 200 MW.

CGPHI, currently has 1,273 MW capacity, making it the largest geothermal producer in the world.

For more than 35 years, CGPHI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corp. of US, has partnered with the National Power Corp. (Napocor) for the development of geothermal resources at Tiwi field in Albay province and Makiling-Banahaw field in Laguna and Batangas provinces.

Aboitiz Power Corp. earlier confirmed this expansion plan.

APC senior vice president Luis Miguel Aboitiz said they plan to invest an additional $150 million over the next four to five years to rehabilitate and provide for additional steam supply for the Tiwi-Makban facilities.

“The plants are 20 plus years old so we plan to increase capacity from 462 MW to 517 MW in the next four years,” Aboitiz earlier said.

“We’ve asked Chevron to drill an additional well. We’ve been doing that (increase steam supply) for the past several months,” he said.

Aboitiz Power turned over to government the 40 percent downpayment for Tiwi-Makban amounting to P8.2 billion last May.

The Aboitiz Group offered $446.8 million for Tiwi-Makban when it was sold in July last year. The balance will be deferred in semi-annual payments over seven years.

ABOITIZ GROUP ABOITIZ POWER ABOITIZ POWER CORP ABOITIZ POWER RENEWABLES INC ALBAY ANTONIO YEE CGPHI CHEVRON CORP POWER TIWI TIWI-MAKBAN
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