EDC sees P600-million additional income from 3 geothermal plants

by Lenie LecturaJune 12, 2016

from Business Mirror

ENERGY Development Corp. (EDC), a leading geothermal firm in the country, is expecting to reap additional revenues of about P600 million next year, mainly on account of improved performance of three geothermal assets.

EDC, through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Green Core Geothermal Inc., operates the 192.5-megawatt (MW) Palinpinon and 112.5-MW Tongonan geothermal power plants. EDC President Richard Tantoco said the optimization, reengineer and redesign of these plants would result in additional 10 MW and 20 MW, respectively.

EDC’s own geothermal plant in Valencia, Negros Oriental, will also undergo the same improvement. Tantoco said the capacity of its Nasulo plant, once technology is reengineered, would increase by 20 MW, from the current 49.4 MW.

“For Tongonan, it’s an additional 20 MW. Nasulo is also 20 MW. Then Palinpinon will follow,” Tantoco said on the sidelines of the turnover of school buildings in Ormoc last Friday.

The company expects the completion of  technology-optimization work on these facilities in the first quarter of next year, hence reflecting additional revenues for 2017, Tantoco said.

The impact of these improvements—an increase of 50 MW in all—would result in additional revenues for the company.

“Maybe, an additional P600 million,” Tantoco said. “We should see the additional kilowatt hours becoming available.”

EDC, he said earlier, expects a “flattish” net income this year, because a number of its power plants would undergo scheduled maintenance shutdowns.

Its 232.5-MW Malitbog geothermal plant was shut down in the first quarter of the year to give way for the installation of new control systems.

“The P4.3-billion Tongonan power-plant rehabilitation is now on its second and final phase. We are looking forward to the full rehabilitation of the Tongonan units starting the second half of 2016,” he said.

The EDC is earmarking P13.6 billion in capital expenditure (capex) for 2016. Tantoco said less than P1 billion of the capex would be utilized “to get us the ECC [environmental compliance certificate], transmission studies, everything we need.”

The company is the largest geothermal-energy producer in the country with 1,169 MW of installed capacity in strategic units in Bicol, Leyte, Negros islands and Mount Apo. Its portfolio of renewable-energy sources covers hydro-, wind- and solar-power projects, namely, the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric-power project, the 150-MW Burgos wind project and the 7-MW Burgos solar 1 and 2 projects.

The EDC is among the companies involved in the Lopez Group’s P196-million school-rebuilding program in areas hit by Supertyphoon Yolanda.

The program involves the construction of 150 typhoon-resilient school rooms in areas hit by Yolanda in 2013 and other recent disasters.

These school rooms are housed in 66 school buildings in 30 cities and municipalities in 11 provinces: Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Sorsogon, Albay, Bohol, Bukidnon, Laguna, Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan.

Once completed in September this year, the program will benefit an estimated 9,000 students.

Leonardo Ablaza, manager of the Lopez Group’s school-rebuilding program, said the program, so far, has completed the construction of 50 typhoon-resilient school buildings with 118 rooms in Leyte, Samar, Iloilo, Capiz and Bukidnon. 

Sixteen more school buildings with 32 classrooms will reach completion between July and September 2016, when the school-rebuilding program is concluded, Ablaza said.

Five school buildings with 10 rooms are scheduled for completion in July in Leyte; nine buildings with 18 rooms in August in Bicol, Bohol and Aklan; and the remaining two school buildings with four rooms in Iloilo in September.

Designed by third-party experts, the calamity-resilient or the “new normal” classrooms can withstand wind velocity of up to 250 kilometers per hour. The classrooms feature cathedral-type ceilings, wider windows and insulated roofing for better ventilation.  Other amenities include the concave-design blackboards, wall-mounted electric fans, LED lights, “genderized” comfort rooms and access for persons with disabilities.

The Lopez Group companies implemented their Yolanda reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in three phases.

In the first two phases, funds pooled from various donors by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.-Sagip Kapamilya were tapped to construct new school buildings or to repair damaged schools in Yolanda-hit areas.

For Phase 3, the Lopez Group companies, led by First Philippine Holdings Corp. subsidiaries, have pledged to shoulder the cost of constructing the new typhoon-resilient schools.

First Gen Corp. committed to fund the construction of 16 school buildings; Rockwell Land Corp., 6; First Balfour Inc., 4; and First Philec Corp., along with ThermaPrime Well Services Inc., 1 each.

First Philippine Industrial Park committed P1.3 million for the chairs that will be used in all schools donated by First Gen and First Philec. “When many ask us why we did what we did, I just have one answer. It was but human to do so,” First Gen and FPH Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez said.