In Makiling, N. Zealand firm finds ample geothermal reserves

November 23, 2011

By: Amy Remo

Philippine Daily Inquirer


A study completed by a consulting company based in New Zealand showed that the proven geothermal reserves in Mt. Makiling could very well support the operations of Maibarara Geothermal Inc.’s proposed 20-megawatt power facility over the next 25 years.


In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. said the third party validation of resource assessment indicated a 90-percent probability that the proven field reserves could support even a 28-MW power plant over the same period.


Trans-Asia Oil holds a 25-percent stake in Maibarara Geothermal, a vehicle formed to develop and operate the P2.8-billion Maibarara power project in Batangas and Laguna.


Other stakeholders are PetroEnergy Resources Corp., which holds a 65-percent interest, and PNOC Renewables Corp., which accounts for the remaining 10 percent. In the third quarter of this year, Maibarara Geothermal signed several contracts in preparation for the commissioning of the geothermal facility, which is expected to be completed by late 2013.


Maibarara Geothermal signed a 20-year electricity sales agreement with Trans-Asia Oil. The move will ensure a buyer for the output of the geothermal power facility. Under the electricity sales agreement, Maibarara Geothermal will sell the entire output of the geothermal power plant beginning in the third quarter of 2013, when the power facility is expected to begin commercial operations.


The agreed electricity price will include payments for capacity, operations and maintenance fees, and annual escalation based on inflation and foreign exchange adjustments. The ESA will be subject to review every five years, PetroEnergy earlier said.


As buyer of the plant’s entire output, Trans-Asia Oil will be responsible for managing and selling the plant output to ultimate end-users, supplying backup power in case of plant shutdown and maintenance, and paying all applicable charges imposed by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM).


Also during the third quarter, Maibarara Geothermal signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with EEI Corp., and an operations and maintenance agreement with Fuji Electric. EEI, one of the country’s top engineering and construction companies, will undertake the actual construction, balance of plant requirements and overall project management.


The contract with Fuji Electric provides for real-time remote monitoring of the Maibarara power plant performance, all the way from Tokyo. The agreement also covered technical advisory services to Maibarara Geothermal for the dispatch of Fuji power plant personnel to handle regular and emergency plant checkup.


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