EDC taps Mitsubishi Group for BacMan geothermal plant

Feb 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has tapped two companies of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group to provide equipment and local support for the expansion project of its Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power plant. 

In a statement, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said its units,  Italy-based Turboden S.p.A and Mitsubishi Power Ltd. jointly received an order for 29-megawatt (MW) binary cycle power generation equipment to be installed at the geothermal power plant operated by EDC in Palayan, Albay.

Turboden will provide the complete power generation system, and Mitsubishi Power will provide support through its local resources.

“The order calls for project completion and operation startup by the end of 2022,” Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said.

The power generation system to be provided by Turboden will add new binary cycle geothermal power equipment, whose key component is the company’s proprietary 29-megawatt (MW) Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system to the existing 120-MW flash type geothermal power plant owned and operated by Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. (BGI), the power subsidiary of  EDC.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Power will dispatch personnel to the site to offer installation guidance and handle domestic transport through MHI Power (Philippines) Plant Services Corp., its local subsidiary which has a robust track record in construction of geothermal and steam power plants, as well as provision of power solutions.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said the new system would generate power, making effective use of brine which until now has merely been returned to a reinjection well.

“By replacing power in the power grid now derived from fossil fuels, the new installation will enable reduction of CO2 emissions derived from steam power,” it said.

“The new 29-MW binary cycle power generation configuration is expected to trim CO2 emissions by around 72,200 tons per year (equivalent to some 20,000 hectares of forest),” it said.

The 29-MW binary power generation project at Palayan geothermal power plant has been selected as a project for the financing program for joint crediting mechanism (JCM) model projects in 2020 administered by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and its execution body, the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC).

In addition to helping curb CO2 emissions in the Philippines, the project will contribute to Japan’s attainment of its CO2 reduction target.

Demand for electric power is expanding in the Philippines in tandem with GDP growth, and proactive measures are underway to introduce renewable energies.

Thanks to its numerous volcanic islands, the Philippines ranks fourth worldwide in volume of geothermal resources, after Indonesia, Japan and the US.

The country also ranks third, after US and Indonesia, in  geothermal power generation capacity.

In terms of equipment capacity (development ratio) as a proportion of resource volume, the Philippines ranks highest worldwide, and the country is an aggressive developer of geothermal power in the global context.

Last month, EDC said kicked off the construction of the P1.3-billion expansion of the BacMan geothermal power plant after it awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to First Balfour Inc., also a Lopez firm.

The contract covers the installation of equipment necessary to generate energy using the residual brine flow from the existing EDC steam field.

It also includes EPC works for the civil, structural, and electromechanical works to complete the binary power plant.