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EDC rehab of Bac-Man geothermal plant eyes CDM registration

SORSOGON CITY, May 25 – The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has completed rehabilitation of the giant power plant at the vast Bacon-Manito (Bac-Man) geothermal field here and hopes to meet the requirements of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

With these rehabilitation works, EDC Community Partnership Department head Eduardo Jimenez on Wednesday said the power plant, worn out by its operations since it was commissioned way back in 1995 and mothballed by two successive super typhoons in 2006 is now back in tiptop condition based on the international standard for geothermal facilities.

It was also in conformity with the new global trends giving more emphasis on the requirements for environmental sustainability and based on the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Jimenez stressed.

The EDC, he said, hired for this rehabilitation project highly skilled and knowledgeable consultants from various countries noted for their geothermal power plants of state-of-the-art technologies and more updated environmental preservation to be ascertained of its compliance with the UNFCCC and be able to meet the requirements for registration with the CDM.

The registration, Jimenez explained is an agreement among industrialized nations calling for worldwide reduction of emission of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels from year 2008 to 2012 that would result to approximately 20 percent reduction of environmental pollution.

The CDM registration of the power plant would entitle it to a Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certificate which is equivalent to the carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction provided under the Kyoto Protocol, he said.

The 55-megawatt energy plant that is composed of turbines and other steam-driven power generating facilities sitting on a sprawling mountain top compound within the Palayang Bayan geothermal complex along the boundaries of this city and Manito, Albay was acquired by the EDC from the National Power Corporation (NPC) some two years ago.

The Bac-Man geothermal is a 110-megawatt energy project developed by the EDC within the 125,000-hectare reservation covering Mt. Inang Maharang under the government-owned and controlled Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) some 30 years ago.

The energy firm was acquired by the Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation over three years ago and continued its operations as a power producer and supplier for the Luzon grid using the indigenous geothermal steam thereby reducing the use of non-renewable fossil fuels for electricity generation.

"The newly rehabilitated Bac-Man power plant complex is an assurance of the EDC to contribute towards the Philippine sustainable development policy on clean environment and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” Jimenez said. (PNA)

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