Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the country’s largest producer of geothermal energy, may invest as much as $375 million—roughly P15.4 billion at the prevailing exchange rate—for the expansion of power projects in Luzon and Mindanao.
EDC president and COO Richard B. Tantoco disclosed that the company is infusing another $150 million to expand the capacity of the company’s planned 87-megawatt Burgos wind farm in Ilocos Norte.
Another $225 million, meanwhile, may be invested in the 50-MW Mindanao 3 geothermal project, based on the rule of thumb that as much as $4.5 million will be needed to produce a megawatt of geothermal power.
According to Tantoco, the plan is to increase to 150 MW the capacity
of the $300-million wind power project, the construction for which will soon begin. This expansion will bring the wind project’s total investment cost to $450 million, or approximately P18.4 billion.
“We’re very excited about the wind [project] because there’s a chance
in Burgos to actually expand. We have to also expand the [coverage] of the environmental compliance certificate. As soon as we get [approvals on the amendments] on some of the permits, we can proceed. For the 87-MW project, the ‘notice to proceed’ may be issued in the next two to three weeks. For the expansion, [we will pursue] as soon as the permits are in place,” Tantoco explained.
The EDC official noted that the original 87-MW wind farm is on track to
being completed within the third
quarter of 2014, while the expansion may come in a little later than 2015. A team from EDC is now working with
Vestas for the acquisition of additional turbines.
Last month, EDC signed a deal
with Vestas of Denmark, the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer,
for the supply of 29 units of 3-MW
wind turbines, which are said to be suitable to the wind conditions in Ilocos Norte.
Meanwhile, EDC chief finance officer, Nestor H. Vasay, disclosed that the company is also developing the 50-MW Mindanao 3 geothermal project in Kidapawan, North Cotabato.
The said geothermal project may come online by 2017, Vasay said.
The field where the Mindanao 3 geothermal facility may rise already hosts two geothermal power facilities, namely the 52-MW Mindanao 1 and 54-MW Mindanao 2 plants. EDC was able to assume full ownership of these power plants in 2009 from the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contractor Mindanao 1 Geothermal Partnership (M1GP), which was a consortium between Oxbow Power Corp. and Marubeni Corp.