EDC shuts down BacMan unit anew

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Energy Development Corp., the country’s largest producer of geothermal energy, is again stopping operations of the 55-megawatt Unit 1 of the Bacon-Manito geothermal plants, a month after it resumed operations.

“We will shut down Unit 1 on May 2 for an inspection. We will make further decisions concerning the unit once the inspection has been carried out,” the Lopez affiliate said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Monday.

Shutting down Unit 1 was part of the original plan of EDC subsidiary Bacman Geothermal Inc. to assess the power facility’s condition, on whether it will be suitable enough to run commercially.

“Based on the findings of such inspection, Bacman Geothermal will decide whether or not any restrictions to the future operation of Unit 1 are necessary or appropriate, and the recommended time intervals between future inspections of Unit 1,” EDC had said.

EDC first resumed commercial operations of the BacMan facilities on February 25 this year, generating a total of 110 MW. This was the first time that the plants were able to run at their installed capacities, after EDC acquired the facility from the government in a bidding held in 2010.

Only the BacMan I geothermal facility, which has two 55-MW power units both commissioned in 1993, had been fully rehabilitated. The BacMan II facility, which has one remaining 20-MW unit from the original two units, has never been online.

Days after it resumed operations in Ferbuary, 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 again started running Unit 1 on March 27 and was able to ramp up generation to 55 MW on April 8.

Based on previous estimates, EDC had said that it expected to generate P160 million in revenues per unit per month. At full commercial operations of 130 MW, EDC earlier estimated revenues to reach a high of P4.3 billion a year.

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