Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC), through its BacMan Geothermal Inc. subsidiary, on Wednesday broke ground on its P7-billion Palayan Binary Power Plant (PBPP) project.
The 29-megawatt (MW) power facility will expand EDC’s existing 130MW Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal facility. It would be ready for commercial operation in December 2022.
This low carbon project is expected to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by around 72,200 tons each year as it helps Japan reach its own CO2 reduction goals.
The PBPP will make use of the waste heat from the 110MW Bacman-1 geothermal power plant to generate additional energy without the need for additional drilling. Heat from brine, which is usually produced from the wet steam operations, will be used to generate electricity by the new power plant before re-injecting back to the reservoir.
EDC has lined up more projects in the next few years.“We’re looking at a lot more projects in the pipeline. Simulatneous to this, we are also constructing a power plant in Mindanao and after that a few more projects we intend to put up in the next two to three years,” said EDC head of Business Development and Marketing Marvin Bailon.
The company’s future geothermal expansion projects include the 3.6MW Mt. Apo geothermal plant, 20MW BacMan plant and the 36MW Leyte plant.
The virtual ground-breaking ceremony was attended by EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco, EDC Senior Vice President and Head of Facilities, Operation and Maintenance Liberato S. Virata, and stakeholder partners led by Energy Undersecretary Emmanuel P. Juaneza, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara, Manito Mayor Joshua Mari Daep, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Regional Director Rommel Sopsop, and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Jerry Arena. The PBPP is one of EDC’s projects in the pipeline that is critical to achieving its revitalized mission of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future. As it helps the country avoid carbon emissions in lieu of power from coal, it is expected to strengthen the company’s initiatives in empowering its host communities through skills development and by providing additional livelihood opportunities.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between EDC, Keitech Foundation, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the local governments of Sorsogon and Legazpi, and PBPP’s construction contractor, First Balfour, for the skills development and values formation training of 120 qualified youth from the host communities of Bacman geothermal facility.
While EDC aims to supply clean, reliable, and renewable energy that is available 24/7 to its customers, the safety of its employees and contractors remains to be its top priority. Since the project started to roll out in November 2020, right after getting the green light from the Department of Energy, no injuries or accidents were reported from the current 300 workers onsite.
“Safety is part of EDC’s culture more so now that we are working to provide clean, stable, renewable energy to our customers, especially in critical industries, amid the pandemic. As such, all employees and contractors onsite are reminded that they are all safety leaders. Our family and friends depend on us and expect that we take care and get home, at the end of the day, in the same way that we came to work,” said Tantoco.
The company and its contractors make sure that all workers on-site strictly follow the health protocols advised by the government to ensure safety from Covid-19. Regular random swab testing, physical distancing, and wearing of protective equipment like masks and face shields are strictly implemented at the site.
EDC’s over 1,480MW total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity while its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 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.