BacMan’s 55-MW facility resumes operations


10:10 PM April 8th, 2013


Energy Development Corp., the country’s largest producer of geothermal energy, has resumed the operations of the 55-megawatt Unit 1 of the Bacon-Manito geothermal plants in Albay and Sorsogon.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday, EDC said its subsidiary, BacMan Geothermal Inc., had  started running Unit 1 on March 27 and was able to ramp up power generation to 55 MW on Monday (April 8).

BacMan Geothermal, however, intends to shut down Unit 1 again after 30 days of operation to inspect and assess the power facility’s condition.

“Based on the findings of such inspection, BacMan Geothermal will decide whether or not any restrictions to the future operation of Unit 1 will be necessary. The review will also determine the needed time intervals between future inspections of Unit 1,” EDC explained.

It can be recalled that EDC resumed the commercial operations of the BacMan facilities on Feb. 25 this year, generating a total of 110 MW then. Only the BacMan I facility—which has two 55-MW power units both commissioned in 1993—had been fully rehabilitated. The BacMan II facility, which has one remaining unit with a capacity of 20 MW unit, has yet to be put online.

Days after it resumed operations, EDC had to shut down the geothermal plants, after a turbine blade at the Unit 2 was sheared off. Unit 1 was similarly shut down even if it did not experience similar problems.

EDC said it was expected to generate P160 million in revenue per unit per month. At full commercial operations of 130 MW, EDC said total revenue could reach P4.3 billion yearly.

EDC acquired the geothermal complex from the government in 2010, during which the power plants were practically mothballed, with capacity of only 3 percent. Thus, the target of the rehabilitation, which started in 2010, was to ramp up the capacity to 130 MW.

The Lopez affiliate believed then that once rehabilitated and operational, the BacMan geothermal facilities would generate strong returns and cash flows from a vertically integrated operation.

EDC remains the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines, accounting for 62 percent of the total installed geothermal capacity. It operates five geothermal projects with a total capacity of 1,130 MW and a hydropower project, the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway complex. Its operations account for 14 percent of the nation’s installed clean power generation, equivalent to the displacement of 114 million barrels of oil imports.

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  • desi derata

    The geothermal energy generation should be expanded. This is a sensible approach to realize electric power sufficiency that would propel the country’s economic push.

    How about a bigger geothermal plant in Los Banos, around Taal Volcano, and additional units in Mt Apo, Davao?

    Another area of development that should be seriously considered is the construction of hydro-electric dams. In the 70s and the 80s, there were suggestions about erection of dams in the Montalban area. However, some politicians in the marcos cabinet shot it down as structural safety was highlighted as the main reason why it would not be feasible. They mentioned about the rock formation would not be able to hold massive hydraulic force induced by the volume of water that the dam was supposed to hold. I know even at the time that it was a lot of bull, probably they would like the land properties in the downhill areas be developed for real estate commercialization.

    One of the most desirable location for a construction of a hydro-electric dam is the Mag-Asawang Sapa located between Malipampang and Matimbubong in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Upper San Ildefonso may have a couple or more of cascading dams to hold off flash floods from the denuded forests of Akle and Remedios Trinidad. I am sure if the dam will be constructed, it will turn San Ildefonso as the primary vegetable producer in Luzon.

    To complement the future San Ildefonso Multipurpose Dam, windmills that would be locally manufactured, should be erected along the banks of the water impoundment basin. The windmills shall be used for pumping water for irrigation and also turning the wheels of the generators for producing electricity for the surrounding communities.

    Rainwater just come and go. From the mountains and hills in San Ildefonso, they all just flow down the Candaba Swamp and then to the Pampanga River. Let us make use of this natural resource for our economic advantage.

    Let us try to change the cyclical condition of floods and erosion during rainy seasons and when dry seasons come, we have drought and rotating tap water allocation.

    Our leaders and cabinet members of the President should be more imaginative. Law makers should not be the sole domain of lawyers,we need engineers and other people with vision and conviction that improvement is achievable. Let us cease from delving in too much politics.

    For several decades now, Filipino politicians are preoccupied in “re-arranging the chair” and in committing graft and corruption. The sad part is that a large chunk of the population accept evil as part of their lives and vehemently resist treading the “straight path” because it is not normal.


    • Garo Ungaro

      The problem is not all the plans for energy…For too long since the 60’s 70’s’80s and now remains on the drawing board…All that is needed is there, but the will to do it and make it happens is not there…”Everybody just want to eat but refuse to prepare the food” It will never happens…with this mindset and attitude…

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