Maibarara Geothermal puts power plant online

MAIBARARA Geothermal Inc. (MGI) successfully commissioned last week the 12-megawatt (MW) Maibarara Geothermal Power Plant-2 (M2), the first geothermal facility to be put up under the current administration.

The power facility was synchronized to the Luzon grid on March 9.

“M2 was put online at 12:04 p.m. on March 9, marking, as well, its first export of power to the Luzon grid. After its synchronization to the grid, the M2 unit is currently undergoing a series of capability and reliability tests,” MGI Power Plant Manager Paul Elmer C. Morala said. “During these tests, the ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] will conduct a technical inspection as part of the commission’s requirements for the issuance of a COC [certificate of compliance]. Commercial operations of M2 will follow with the COC award.”

The facility in Santo Tomas, Batangas, is MGI’s second geothermal unit. MGI is 65-percent owned by PetroGreen Energy Corp. (PGEC), 25 percent by Phinma Energy Corp. and 10 percent by PNOC Renewables Corp. PGEC is the renewable energy holding unit of publicly listed PetroEnergy Resources Corp..

MGI began construction of the facility in March 2016, employing several local construction companies but retaining Fuji Electric of Japan as the supplier of the plant’s turbine-generator and other major equipment.

MGI President F. G. Delfin Jr. said the capacity expansion will also provide additional royalties and taxes to the national and host local governments.

“Maibarara 2 is the fourth power-generating plant we completed and put online in four years. It marks the second wave of our judicious investment and operation in the renewable-energy sector following the first wave with the 20-MW Maibarara 1 unit in February 2014, the 36-MW Nabas 1 wind farm in June 2015, and the 50-MW Tarlac 1 solar facility in February 2016.

This second wave of investment, that will also see the expansion of our Nabas and Tarlac facilities and new greenfield projects, have to be even more deliberate considering the challenges in securing new offtake contracts and, more important the uncertainty in some government energy policies and direction,” PGEC President Milagros V. Reyes said.

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