Energy Development Corporation (EDC) plans to continue with its PHP20 billion five-year expansion plan for the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power field within the boundaries of Sorsogon City and Manito, Albay. The BacMan expansion project includes the construction of geothermal steam production complexes, named Kayabon at the Manito side and Rangas and Tanawon on the Sorsogon side. The combined capacity of the project would be 120 megawatt.

Each project costs more than PHP6 billion and preparations for the exploration works are taking place.

BacMan is a 25,000 hectare geothermal facility developed by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). BacMan is now producing 150 megawatt.

As per EDC Chief Executive Officer Paul Aquino, the company was working on expanding in 2009 from a power producer to a power seller but given the global recession, it was reviewing its options, including capital expenditures.

EDC projects being reviewed include the 200-megawatt Nasulo project in Negros, the Tanawon geothermal project in Sorsogon and the Burgos, Ilocos Norte wind power project.

Negotiations would be stopped for the meantime because prices had been down, so EDC would try to hold off project talks for at least three months or until the first quarter of 2009, Aquino said.

While noting that the drop in international oil prices and the global financial crisis resulted in the drop of cost of construction materials, Aquino said, it made companies to review their prospects for 2009.

We cannot afford to cancel nor delay any of our projects but we need to be more circumspect on our moves to make sure that we are moving in the right direction, Aquino said.

EDCs top priority for 2009 is bidding for the acquisition of the National Power Corporations (NPC) geothermal power plants in Valencia, Negros Oriental, Tongonan, Leyte and BacMan, here.

As per Aquino, EDC needed to borrow $500 million to fund its geothermal projects, pay its yen loans and to join in the bidding of the government’s power assets.