Lopez-led EDC eyes big-ticket power projects abroad
MANILA, Philippines – Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the Philippines' largest geothermal producer, is targeting only big ticket projects in its international expansion plans, said the company’s president and COO, Richard Tantoco.
Speaking on the sidelines of EDC’s annual stockholder meeting on Tuesday, May 7, Tantoco said they have received a lot of offers from the US but chose not to pursue them because of their size.
“We always get offered deals in the US but we find the project size not right. They’re too small at 20- to 40-megawatts. We want to go for the big ones now. We want to find 200 to 400 megawatts (MW),” he explained.
“We have a battlecry. We’re trying to find large ones of 100 to 200 megawatts and if we get 4 or 5 [projects] going in the next 10 years we’ll be happy as that would be an additional 400 to 500 megawatts,” he added.
Over the next 10 years, EDC is looking to add a total of 300 MW to 600 MW of capacity with international projects.
“Globally, we continue to look for other sites for direct applications and are exploring possible joint ventures for existing concessions,” Tantoco said.
Tantoco said that they are looking for opportunities Chile, Peru, Indonesia and Kenya.
In 2013, EDC will spend around $2.5 million on exploration funding for these projects abroad. This amount is expected to be bumped up significantly to around $40 million as the company pursues its international geothermal ventures in Chile, Peru and Indonesia in 2014.
“We’re continueing to look at Chile and Peru. We like the regulatory regime. We like the fact that it’s similar to the Philippines as net importers of energy. We like the fact that they’re poltically stable," said Tantoco.
“Next year, we’re budgeting about $40 million for drilling. Most likely based on the projects today, we’re going to be drilling in Chile first, initially 3 wells,” he added.
EDC’s Mariposa project in Chile is a joint venture with Canada-based Alterra Power Corp. Tantoco said they will only know the potential once 3 well have been drilled.
In Peru, EDC formed a joint venture with Australian partner Hot Rock Ltd. to develop a geothermal site in Quellaapacheta.
Tantoco said that the company has already been awarded its first preliminary survey rights over a site in Sumatra in Indonesia last December and is now going through the permitting process. It expects to begin geotechnical studies within the second quarter of 2013.
“By the end of 2013, we expect to have a firm view of the geothermal potential of the site and whether or not we will invest in developing the project site,” said Tantoco.
Tantoco said EDC is also looking for two more additional geothermal sites in Indonesia wherein it will likely partner with an Indonesian geothermal firm.
EDC is also cautiously eyeing possible projects in Kenya.
“We’re looking at Kenya but with a lot of caution. We have a team going there this June but nothing firm yet. We have to be careful because of the new government change. There’s quite an optimistic and bullish view with new government,” Tantoco said.
“We have to look as the country begins to stabilize. It’s like Chile. No one would have invested in Chile before. Now it has a higher credit rating than some European countries,” he added. - Rappler.com