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EDC taps GreenFire to retrofit geothermal wells in Leyte plant

Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has tapped US-based GreenFire Energy Inc. to perform a commercial retrofit of the former’s geothermal wells in the Mahanagdong geothermal facility in Leyte.

The work involves steam restoration and generation from an idle geothermal well that has not been usable due to the high level of non-condensable gases produced from the well when flowing. GreenFire said it would be able to complete its work in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The heat mining system will correct this and meet its surface system pressure requirements once it is installed and commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2021,” GreenFire said.

Engr. Liberato S. Virata, senior vice president and head of EDC’s Facilities Operations and Maintenance Group, said the company has been looking at GreenFire Energy’s closed-loop approach to geothermal for some time now.

“While we see potential for the technology in large greenfield projects too, we see the fast payback on well retrofits as the easiest way to start,” said Virata.

GreenFire’s GreenLoop technology is a patented, closed-loop geothermal energy system that generates power from geothermal resources where conventional geothermal systems cannot effectively operate, typically due to lack of permeability, water, or pressure.

GreenFire Energy and EDC are also working together to analyze other unproductive geothermal wells, and less productive geothermal fields where the potential for using this technology will be of the greatest technical and economic benefit.

“Being able to generate steam from our idle geothermal wells that will enable us to supply more of that much needed clean, reliable, stable power that our country needs is all a part of fulfilling EDC’s mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future,” added Virata.

The first demonstration of GreenLoop was performed at the Coso KGRA in California, USA in 2019 and showed that GreenLoop can retrofit unproductive or idle geothermal wells and run successfully at field-scale.

It is estimated that over 20 percent of geothermal wells worldwide are unproductive from inception or due to degradation over time and it is further estimated that only 2 percent of the world’s geothermal resource can be profitably harvested with conventional technology.

“We really appreciate EDC’s willingness to consider and implement new solutions to geothermal wells and resources that have excellent potential but with production issues that can’t be addressed by conventional technology.

Many geothermal operators around the world have similar needs, but EDC is one of the most innovative so we’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with them,” said Joseph Scherer, chief executive officer, GreenFire Energy Inc.

EDC, on its 45th year anniversary, has been spreading awareness on its new mission through its Regenerative Partnerships at 45 campaign to elevate everything it touches–from its employees, communities, the environment, its customers, and even partners like GreenFire Energy.

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