EDC planning to drill new geothermal wells

Originally published on manilatimes.net

GEOTHERMAL company Energy Development Corp. (EDC), a subsidiary of listed renewable energy (RE) firm First Gen Corp., said Monday that it was planning to spend about $1 billion (approximately P56.8 billion) over the next three years to drill more geothermal wells to expand capacity.

This was announced by EDC Vice Chairman and CEO Francis Giles Puno during the eco-business event, “Zeroing In on Net Zero: From Corporate Pledges to Action,” on Monday at the Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas in Pasig City.

“Over the next three years, we will go through a campaign to make sure that geothermal energy is indeed sustainable,” Puno said during a panel discussion.

“So our main focus during this time will be to make sure that we can deliver the amount of renewable source of geothermal for our customers, and part of that is a need to drill close to around 40 wells for that time period,” he added.

The initiative aims to ensure the company can deliver more baseload renewable energy to customers.

“[This] means an investment of a half a billion dollars just to make sure that we can continue to extract sustainable steam from the ground,” Puno said.

“In addition to this maintenance capital expenditure, we have also earmarked half a billion dollars for the expansion of our geothermal output as well.”

In an interview with reporters following the panel discussion, Puno said that the new wells would mostly be located in Leyte, the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) area near Sorsogon and Albay, and near Mount Apo in Davao.

“All of this is for the continued operations of Energy Development Corporation and, on top of that, for our growth as well,” he added.

“So roughly, we will spend around P30 billion on drilling operations and another P30 billion in growth initiatives for the next three years,” Puno continued.

“We will do a phased kind of borrowing for certain periods for this, and [some funds] will come from internally generated funding. Specifically, the funds will be used for the maintenance of our work-over wells (current wells) and the 40 new wells mentioned earlier.”

EDC claims to be the country’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company, with an installed capacity of 1,179 MW. Its parent firm First Gen is part of the Lopez group of companies.

Shares of First Gen Corp. were up 68 centavos at P18.24 on Monday.

EDC is First Gen Corporation’s 100 percent renewable energy subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity. Its almost 1,200MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world. ###