EDC allots P17 billion capex this year

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is spending P17 billion this year to ensure long-term growth.

EDC CFO Erwin Avante said in a text message to The STAR that of the total, P7 billion has been earmarked for “growth projects, P5 billion for drilling, and the balance for resiliency, maintenance, and other capex.”

EDC is pursuing expansion of two local geothermal projects in Luzon and Mindanao.

It has commenced the construction of the 28.9-megawatt Palayan binary plant and the expansion of its Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power plant in Albay which is targeted to be completed in the second half of 2022.

The project, which has an estimated cost of P6.4 billion, will boost the overall power generation capacity of the existing Bacman Geothermal power plant the 120-MW Bacman I and 20-MW Bacman II.

In a regulatory filing, the company said it was also scheduled to start constructing the 3.6-MW Mindanao 3 binary plant in the first quarter with target completion in the first half of 2022.

“We’re going full steam ahead to expand our geothermal portfolio with two projects this year, our 45th year of operation.  Our 24/7 clean geothermal energy is one of our country’s strengths that will help the transition to a low carbon economy,” EDC president and COO Richard Tantoco said earlier.

EDC also conducts well-drilling activities to maintain steam output in its four geothermal contract areas, namely Tongonan, Kananga, Leyte; Southern Negros, Valencia, Negros Oriental; Bacon-Manito, Albay and Sorsogon; and Mt. Apo, Kidapawan, Cotabato.

In Leyte, it operates three geothermal steam field projects which deliver steam to the 123-MW Tongonan geothermal power plant and the 603.7-MW Unified Leyte geothermal power plants.

The company operates two geothermal steam fields which delivers steam to the 130-MW Bacman geothermal power plant, while it has one geothermal steam field project in Cotabato which delivers steam to the 103.2 MW Mindanao geothermal power plants in Mt. Apo.

EDC has also been investing in the resiliency of its power assets, especially those hit by natural calamities. The resiliency projects involve increasing seismic specifications and landslide mitigation of its assets.

For its maintenance capex projects, EDC has tapped California-based solutions provider GreenFire Energy Inc. to revive idle and unproductive geothermal wells to raise power generation, starting with the Mahanagdong geothermal plant in Leyte.

Under the deal, GreenFire will perform a commercial retrofit that will restore and generate steam from an idle geothermal well in the Mahanagdong geothermal facility, one of the units of Unified Leyte.

The two firms will also work together to analyze other unproductive geothermal wells, and less productive geothermal fields.

EDC posted a net income of P11.54 billion last year, a 6.6 percent decline versus 2019’s P12.35 billion profit. The decrease was attributed to lower revenues and higher provision for income taxes amounting to P658 million.

Its over 1,480 MW total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity.

Meanwhile, its almost 1,200-MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the third largest geothermal producer in the world.

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