EDC taps US firm for Leyte geothermal facility

Lopez-led Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has tapped California-headquartered GreenFire Energy Inc. for the commercial retrofit of geothermal wells to optimize steam production for its Manahagdong geothermal power facility in Leyte province.

The retrofit work for the plant to be carried out by the US firm is due for completion by the fourth quarter of this year.

“The heat mining system will correct this and meet its surface system pressure requirements once it is installed and commissioned in fourth quarter 2021,” GreenFire Energy noted in a statement to the media.

The American firm emphasized that the idle geothermal well of the power facility “has not been usable due to high level of non-condensable gases produced from the well when flowing.”

Engineer Liberato S. Virata, senior vice president and head of EDC’s Facilities Operations and Maintenance Group, indicated that “being able to generate steam from our idle geothermal wells that will enable us to supply more of that much needed clean, reliable, stable power that our country needs is all part of fulfilling EDC’s mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.”

GreenFire Energy indicated “the data and experience gathered with the surface project are part of the collaborative efforts to evaluate the feasibility of using Greenfire Greenloop technology in other opportunity wells of EDC.”

The ‘GreenFire GreenLoop’ technology, according to the US company, “is a patented, closed-loop geothermal energy system that generates power from geothermal resources where conventional geothermal systems cannot effectively operate, typically due to lack of permeability, water or pressure.”

Virata stated that “we have been looking at GreenFire Energy’s closed-loop approach to geothermal for some time and are happy to see the progress.”

He added “while we see potential for the technology in large greenfield projects too, we see the fast payback on well retrofits as the easiest way to start.”

Joseph Scherer, chief executive officer of GreenFire Energy, asserted their company’s appreciation on “EDC’s willingness to consider and implement new solutions to geothermal wells and resources that have excellent potential but with production issues that can’t be addressed by conventional technology.”

He stressed that “many geothermal operators around the world have similar needs, but EDC is one of the most innovative, so we’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with them.”

It has been noted that the GreenLoop technology “can retrofit unproductive or geothermal wells and run successfully at field-scale.”

As culled from data, it is estimated that over 20-percent of geothermal wells worldwide are unproductive from inception or due to degradation over time – and out of that figure, only 2.0-percent of the world’s geothermal resources can be profitably harvested with conventional technology.

The two firms further stipulated that they have been “working together to analyze other unproductive geothermal wells and less productive geothermal fields where the potential for using this (GreenLoop) technology will be of greatest technical and economic benefit.” (MMV)