By Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano, Reporter

More geothermal plants back online

Posted on February 19, 2014

MORE Energy Development Corp. (EDC) geothermal power plants damaged by super-typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in November last year are now back online, the Lopez-led firm said in a disclosure yesterday.

EDC informed the bourse about “the re-energization of the remaining unit of our Malitbog Power Plant and of the first unit of the Mahanagdong Power Plant.”

The company noted that the two units “remain subjected to close monitoring and/or additional tests.”

These power plants form part of EDC’s Unified Leyte geothermal power complex. The complex -- which straddles Ormoc City and Kananga town -- consists of the 125-megawatt Upper Mahiao plant, 232.5-MW Malitbog plant, 180-MW Mahanagdong plant, and 51-MW Leyte optimization plants.

Last month, EDC reported that two units of the Malitbog plant were already restored, contributing a total of 150 MW. A part of the Upper Mahiao and optimization plants were also restored in November last year, allowing them to dispatch a total of 57 MW to the grid.

Another geothermal facility owned by the firm -- the 112.5-MW Tongonan plant -- was also partially recommissioned last December.

EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco said last month that all geothermal power plants are expected to be back online by August.

EDC is the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines. It operates 12 power facilities in five geothermal service contract areas in the country.

The company, through First Gen Hydro Power Corp., also operates the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydropower plant in Nueva Ecija.

It is also building the 87-MW Burgos wind power project in Ilocos Norte, which is expected to be operational this year.

EDC’s net income sank 30.8% to P5.93 billion as of September last year from P8.57 billion in the same nine months of 2012. Sales of electricity slipped 7.7% to P19.78 billion from P21.44 billion while cost of power sales likewise dropped 6.7% to P7 billion from P7.5 billion.

Shares of the firm gained one centavo or 0.19% to P5.41 apiece yesterday from P5.40 each on Monday.