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PIA Press Release

President Arroyo to witness turnover of 4 geothermal plants in Leyte

Manila (24 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will witness tomorrow (Tuesday) the turnover of four geothermal plants in Leyte under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts with Ormat Leyte Co. Ltd. to the Philippine National Oil Co.-Energy Development Corp. (PNOC-EDC).

The turnover of the four facilities: the Mahanagdong A and B Topping Cycle Plants, Tongonan Topping Cycle Plant, and Malitbog Bottoming Cycle Plant, which have a combined installed capacity of 51 megawatts (MW), comes at a time when prices of crude oil in the world market have reached $81 per barrel.

All of these plants use geothermal energy from PNOC-EDC's Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF).

PNOC-EDC said geothermal fluids go to the optimization plants either before they are directed to the main power plants, referred to as "topping," or after being directed to the main power plants called "bottoming" for additional electrical output.

The Tongonan 1, Malitbog and Mahanagdong A and B plants provide power to the National Power Corp. for distribution to Cebu, through the Leyte-Cebu transmission interconnection project, and to Luzon through the Leyte-Luzon interconnection project.

With the turnover tomorrow, all geothermal plants under the BOT scheme would be now under the PNOC-EDC operations as the four plants are the only ones under BOT contracts that PNOC-EDC has yet to take over.

PNOC-EDC assumed last July the operation of the 232.5-MW Malitbog and 180-MW Mahanagdong geothermal power plants from CalEnergy International Ltd. when the 10-year cooperation period under the plants' respective energy conversion agreements ended.

PNOC-EDC took over last year the operation of the 132-MW Upper Mahiao power plant, also from CalEnergy.

The Leyte Optimization Plants, together with the Upper Mahiao, Malitbog and Mahanagdong facilities all use steam from the LGPF.

The LGPF is PNOC-EDC's biggest steam field, powering nearly 60 percent of the company's total installed capacity.

PNOC-EDC is the country's largest geothermal energy producer, with an installed capacity of 1,198 MW, or 60 percent of the country's total installed geothermal generating capacity.

The President has been an advocate of the development of clean alternative energy sources like geothermal power so as to lessen and eventually eliminate the country's dependence on imported crude oil for power as well as contribute to the lessening of gas emission that contributes to climate change.

This is so because the Philippines is the second largest producer of geothermal energy in the world next to the United States. (PIA) [top]

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