The best performer of 2016 was the Mt. Apo Geothermal Business Unit (MAGBU) which achieved power generation of 869.0 GWh, its highest output in the past five (5) years.
The increase is attributed to technological advancement, as MAGBU was successful in being the first to use broaching technology as a non-rig well intervention in the Philippines. Broaching is a slickline intervention technique that uses the mechanical action of scraping and cutting to remove mineral scales in the wellbore, which is a more cost-effective alternative to expensive rig workovers. It has been conducted over 34 times in 16 different geothermal wells in New Zealand. MAGBU’s broaching intervention was able to successfully regain 2.6 MW at 94.0 percent less cost than a rig workover.
The year 2016 marked the successful cut-in of a corrosion-resistant alloy-lined corrosive well. Through the use of acidresistant materials in the wellbore and surface facilities, MAGBU has extended the life of its assets and was able to establish a predictive and risk-based maintenance strategy. The wellbore with conventional materials, which lasted only for three (3) months, is now estimated to last at least 20 years with the help of corrosionresistant alloy casings. This opens business opportunities for the development of other acidic geothermal prospects, which helps contribute to EDC’s growth.
AWARD-WINNING ECO CARE
While all business units strive to protect the environment and minimize their impacts, MAGBU was awarded a “Silver” rating in 2016 due to its excellent compliance with the environmental standards of the DENR-EMB’s “Industrial Ecowatch Program.” Additional benefits of the citation include the option of an annual submission of self-monitoring reports instead of the previous quarterly basis and the option to extend the coverage of some environmental permits from one (1) year to three (3) years.
First Gen looks forward to growth on the horizon as its subsidiary EDC aims to solidify its lead in the Philippine geothermal industry by exploring and developing new geothermal fields. EDC is accumulating land, acquiring additional concessions, and performing surface exploration works for secured concessions. These initiatives support EDC’s push for clean baseload generation.
Apart from gaining new ground in the Philippines, EDC is also exploring potential geothermal concessions abroad.
EDC is looking to acquire the 110-MW Graho Nyabu in Sumatra, Indonesia. EDC holds the Preliminary Survey Rights where it can match the winning bid as soon as the site is put into tender. The Indonesian government is currently looking at a possible Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rate as the tariff regime. The target commercial operation date for Graho Nyabu is in 2025.
Mindful of new markets that are opening up to RE development, EDC continues to look for opportunities in other countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.