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PIA Press Release
2007/09/22

PNOC-EDC assures public of more efficient power plant operation in Leyte

Tacloban City (September 22) -- As the Philippine National Oil Company Energy Development Corporation prepares to take over the remaining Build-Operate-Transfer plants in Leyte, it assures the public of its continuous efficiency in operating the geothermal power plants turned over by California Energy International Ltd.

Mr. Dave Devilles, Public Information Officer said that California Energy International Ltd., turned over to PNOC EDC the operations of the 132 megawatt Upper Mahiao and the 232.5 megawatt Malitbog; and 180 megawatt Mahanagdong geothermal power plants from CalEnergy International Ltd. in July 2006 and July 2007, respectively.

Despite the uniqueness and complexity of the Upper Mahiao plant being a binary system, PNOC-EDC was able to operate it at its full capacity of 132 MW since the turnover.

Although the plant has more equipment than a conventional geothermal power plant, the smooth transition of operation from CalEn to PNOC EDC was made possible by integrating the expertise of the previous CalEn employees who were absorbed by PNOC-EDC, with the technical personnel and managers of PNOC-EDC.

Just recently, given the required steam flow, the plant even exceeded its installed capacity, reaching a peak load of 135.73 MW last September 18. The numerous equipment of UMPP would have been a maintenance nightmare were it not for the timely procurement of needed materials and the availability of in-house and outsourced maintenance services.

Even when PNOC-EDC was still a GOCC, it was able to facilitate the procurement of needed materials following the alternative modes of procurement of goods and services under RA 9184. This will be a lot easier now that PNOC-EDC has become a private company since July 10, 2007, PNOC EDC VP for Power Generation Danny Catigtig explained.

The country's biggest producer of geothermal energy will assume operations of the Leyte Optimization Plants of Ormat in Leyte on September 25. Currently owned and operated by Ormat Leyte Co. Ltd., the Optimization Plants consist of Mahanagdong A and B Topping Cycle Plants, Tongonan Topping Cycle Plant, and Malitbog Bottoming Cycle Plant with a total installed capacity of 51 MW.

At 1,198 megawatts, PNOC EDC presently controls 60% of the Philippines' total installed geothermal generating capacity. Even as this accounts for only about 7.3% of the country's total installed power generating capacity, it is able to contribute close to 12% of the total electricity production for 2006.

The Leyte Optimization Plants, together with the 125 MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5 MW Malitbog and 180 MW Mahanagdong are the geothermal power plants utilizing the steam supplied by PNOC EDC's Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF). LGPF also supplies steam to the 112.5-MW Tongonan 1 geothermal powerplant, currently owned by NPC. LGPF is PNOC EDC's biggest steamfield accounting for close to 60% of the company's total installed capacity. Aside from LGPF, PNOC EDC operates geothermal production fields in Southern Negros, Northern Negros, Bicol and North Cotabato. (PIA 8) [top]

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