MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Energy has asked Energy Development Corp., the country’s largest geothermal producer, to submit a “holistic” rehabilitation plan for the Upper Mahiao field in Leyte to prevent the occurrence of a landslide, similar to what happened last month.
The rehabilitation plan is expected to be included in an evaluation that the Lopez affiliate has yet to submit to the government, said Mario Marasigan, director of the renewable energy management bureau at the DOE.
But Marasigan did not disclose whether the DOE had imposed a deadline on EDC regarding the submission of its evaluation to the government. He only confirmed that the review and evaluation, particularly of the hazard-prone areas as directed by the DOE, are still ongoing.
The energy official explained that EDC has to first complete the assessment of the hazard-prone areas before it can come up with a rehabilitation plan so that the approach that will be taken will be “holistic and will include prevention of similar or related accidents.”
At present, EDC’s operations at the Upper Mahiao geothermal field in Leyte remain suspended, following the landslide that claimed 14 lives and left eight workers injured last month.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla earlier explained that the shutdown of the affected pipeline segment would only constrict the supply in the Visayas grid by 11 megawatts, which is negligible considering that the Visayas grid is enjoying a power supply surplus of 220 megawatts as of last Saturday.
The Upper Mahiao geothermal field is part of EDC’s Leyte Geothermal Production Field, which is the world’s largest wet steamfield. The field also includes the Tongonan 1, Malitbog, Mahanagdong and Leyte optimization steam fields.—Amy R. Remo