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PIA Press Release

Leyte geothermal company acquires patent for homegrown on-line steam purity monitoring system

Tacloban City (January 15) -- Energy Development Corporation, a geothermal company in Leyte, has recently acquired patent for its online Steam Purity Monitoring system, from the Bureau of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office.

The system which was developed by EDCís geoscientists and technical services engineers and installed in all the companyís project sites since 1996, provides quick, reliable and continuous real time data of geothermal steam supplied during normal plant operations for immediate response to system upsets.

"We are proud of this very first patented invention of the company because it is a proof of the world-class ingenuity and expertise of EDC in geothermal production. The on-line steam purity monitoring system is another EDC innovation that makes our operations more efficient, cost-effective and safe," EDC President and COO Richard Tantoco said.

Before the technology was developed, EDC relied on the manual method involving a five-man shifting crew to conduct the sampling of steam condensate. The data would be available only after 24 hours.

Since EDC implemented the on-line steam purity monitoring system, it has displaced between PhP31 million to PhP52 million in annual operating expenses and realized gross savings of up to PhP 314 million from 1996 up to 2005.

The technology has been a boon in Leyte where EDC operates its largest geothermal production field.

"The Leyte geothermal power facility has at least 90 production wells scattered over a network of pipelines stretching 186 kilometers long. Maintaining the high quality of steam from these wells has been achieved primarily because we have the on-line steam monitoring system built into the network," emphasizes Engr. Manuel C. Paete, Resident Manager of EDCís Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF).

EDC has pending patent applications for four other technologies it has developed through the years, Mr. Tantoco disclosed.

"These are the results of our long-term commitment to make our operations truly world-class. We have been developing and applying practical technologies to improve resource management in our geothermal sites. Our experience in managing five geothermal project sites for the past 34 years has enabled us to study various situations and problems related to resource management and invent technologies to address them. This is an achievement that fortifies EDCís leadership and expertise in the geothermal industry."

EDC owns and operates geothermal steam fields in Leyte as well as the 701.5-MW Unified Leyte geothermal power plants.

A patent is an exclusive right granted by the State through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) to a patent owner for a product, process, or an improvement of a product or process for a specified period. In return, the patent owner discloses the invention details in his application published in the Intellectual Property Office Gazette. Technological information made available to the public promotes innovation and development.

Patentable inventions offer a technical solution to a problem in any field of human activity. The technical solution must fulfill three basic requirements: it must be new; it must involve an inventive step and; it must be industrially applicable.

An invention has a term of protection of 20 years from the filing date of application.

A patent owner has the right to prohibit any unauthorized person or entity from using, making, or selling his product or process. He can also transfer his right by assigning or transferring the patent, and conclude licensing contracts from it. (PIA 8) [top]

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