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BacMan geothermal plant functional by 2012, says new owner

September 3, 2010 3:16pm
Lopez-owned Bacman Geothermal Inc. has completed the payment for the geothermal facilities it bought from the government.

Bacman — the corporate vehicle of First Gen Corp. — said Friday it paid the state-run Power Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) some P1.28 billion for its acquisition of the 150-megawatt (MW) Bacon-Manito (BacMan) geothermal power facilities.

"Our main focus now is to rehabilitate [the] plants and restore capacity and reliability factors to 100 percent to add clean, reliable, and much-needed power to the Luzon grid," First Gen executive vice president Richard Tantoco said in a statement.

"With the turnover of the Bacman power plant, we are now fully integrated across the geothermal value chain," Tantoco added.

The BacMan plant package consists of two steam plants. BacMan I units comprises two 55-MW turbines and BacMan II consists of two 20-MW geothermal facilities.

Tantoco earlier said Bacman has already decided to rehabilitate the BacMan power plants to bring it to operational level.

The plants have not been running steadily since 2009 and the facilities are "practically shut down" at the moment, Tantoco said.

"We're hoping to bring the units back online within 18- to 24-month time frame," he pointed out.

Since the plants have no existing transition supply contracts with the National Power Corp., Tantoco said Bacman plans to enter into contracts with customers.

"Once we get the plant running, we'll be going into bilaterals with Luzon customers," Tantoco said.

First Gen's subsidiary Energy Development Corp. (EDC), the country's largest and the world's second largest geothermal firm, already a acquired from PSALM the 112.5-MW Tongonan and 192.5-MW Palinpinon geothermal plants.

Other geothermal power generating assets of EDC are the Unified Leyte plants — 125-MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5-MW Malitbog, 180-MW Mahanagdong, and 51-MW Optimization plants — the 106 MW Mindanao 1 and 2 plants in Cotabato, and the 49-MW Northern Negros geothermal plant in Negros Occidental.

The Lopez group is one of the most active participants in the government's power privatization program. —JE, GMANews.TV
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