EDC sets P7 billion for Bicol geothermal expansion

Published June 9, 2021, 3:29 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Lopez-led Energy Development Corporation (EDC) will be injecting fresh investment of P7.0 billion for a 29-megawatt expansion project at its Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power facility in the Bicol region.

The Palayan binary power facility’s advancement to construction officially broke ground on Wednesday (June 9) via a virtual event attended by officials of the company, the Department of Energy (DOE) as well as local government officials at the project site in Albay.

According to EDC, the Palayan binary plant will expand the company’s existing 130-megawatt BacMan plant; and at completion, it will be generating 215.8 gigawatt-hours of electricity that had been granted with subsidy by Japan as part of its joint credit mechanism (JCM).

“This low carbon project is expected to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by around 72,200 tonnes each year as it helps Japan reach its own CO2 (carbon dioxide) reduction goals,” the project-sponsor firm said.

EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco emphasized the Palayan binary expansion venture will be “our additional contribution to that much-needed baseload clean, reliable RE (renewable energy) that fully supports DOE’s intent of providing adequate, continuous and economic supply of energy to our country.”

At the same time, he indicated that the facility will enhance the company’s contribution to reducing the country’s overall carbon footprints. The project is targeting to reach commercial commissioning by the end of 2022.

“That’s 29MW of additional clean, renewable, stable power for electric cooperatives, distribution utilities, as well as businesses that aim to lower their carbon emissions or even aspire to become carbon neutral,” Tantoco stressed.

As the project’s construction will go full blast while the Covid-19 pandemic is still lingering, the company executive assured that there will be strict and comprehensive implementation of safety protocols for all workers at the project site.

“Safety is part of EDC’s culture and as we provide about 600 jobs to the local community to complete this project, all employees and contractors on-site are reminded that they are all safety leaders.” the company executive reiterated.

EDC pointed out the expansion project will “make use of the waste heat from the 110MW BacMan power plant to generate additional energy without the need for additional drilling.”

As explained, the heat from the brine, which is typically produced from wet steam operations, “will be used to generate electricity by the new power plant before re-injecting back to the reservoir.”