EDC on track to becoming leading global energy player

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 07 2014 07:51 AM | Updated as of May 07 2014 03:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is on track to becoming a leading global energy player as it continues to explore opportunities overseas, which could eventually translate to higher revenues from international operations.

During the company’s annual stockholders meeting yesterday, EDC president Richard Tantoco said revenues from its international business could eventually surpass its domestic operations as it moves to become a global energy player.

“Revenues... the target is for international to be larger than domestic, with the passage of time that will be possible,” Tantoco said.

“We are in exactly the middle of our 10-year transition period, with end goals of a diversified power company in terms of geography and technology. We continue to explore the geothermal potential of our five frontier areas all over the country as well as the 20 concessions we now own overseas while we diversify our clean energy portfolio with wind power in Luzon,” he said.

The company expects to book a record-breaking profit next year, as its geothermal and wind power projects are expected to go full blast.

“We are looking forward to a very good 2015... record-breaking,” Tantoco said although he declined to provide the profit guidance for 2015.

Nonetheless, the company expects 2015 profit to surpass 2012’s P10.1 billion, the highest profit booked by EDC so far.

Projects that are expected to contribute to EDC’s record-breaking profit include the company’s foray in the renewable energy sector, its 87-megawatt Burgos wind project in Ilocos Norte.

“Our 87-MW Burgos wind project got off the ground in April 2013 and construction was in full swing by third quarter. Construction is proceeding as scheduled and by all indicators, we expect to complete the project on time, in the fourth quarter of 2014,” Tantoco said.

The second phase of the project, with a capacity of 63 MW, is expected to be operational in the first quarter next year.

Another project is the 49-MW Nasulo geothermal facility.

“The Northern Negros to Nasulo relocation project progressed well during 2013 with commercial operation targeted by the end of the second quarter of 2014. In the Northern Negros site, we completed the resource sustainability and optimization study and started the negotiation process for sourcing out the right sized plant,” Tantoco said.

Another project that is expected to contribute to revenues is the the full rehabilitation of Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power plant’s Unit 2.

This is estimated to come in the fourth quarter of 2014 while Unit 1 is expected to come in the first quarter of next year.

The Bacman plant is located in the towns of Bacon, Sorsogon and Manito, Albay . The facility consists of Bacman I, 2 X 55 MW, and Bacman II, 2 X 20 MW.

The facility’s Unit 1 went offline last year while Unit 2 was shut down because of damage to the turbine blade. EDC has suspended the operation of Unit 1.

“We share the frustration of all stakeholders in the return to service of the Bacman power plant. It has been a challenging journey, to say the last, which has required three changes in contractors and a shift in strategy, which should have and could have done sooner,” Tantoco said.

Nonetheless, he assured that the company is pursuing solutions to the problem.

“In 2013, we placed two orders with Toshiba for a completely redesigned steam path - turbine rotors and diaphragms. This ‘permanent’ solution of installing a new hot steam path will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 for Unit 2 and the first quarter of 2015 for Unit 1and has been done by Toshiba for other geothermal power plants around the world. With these changes, the plant has a modest gain in output and a considerable gain in efficiency,” Tantoco said.

Last year, EDC’s consolidated revenues stood at P26.65 billion, 9.6 percent lower than P28.36 billion in 2012.

Similarly, recurring net income decreased 27 percent to P7.45 billion from P10.24 billion in 2012.

EDC, which was privatized in 2007, remains the country’s biggest geothermal energy producer, accounting for 62 percent of the country installed geothermal capacity.