New Zealand scientists to help develop Philippine geothermal energy

Geothermal energy development was one of a number of areas of improved cooperation, including defense, tourism, and trade, which were discussed during the two-day state visit of Philippines President Benigno Aquino to New Zealand this week.

New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science) will conduct viability reviews of the Philippines’ Energy Development Corporation (EDC) steam fields over six months, said a statement from GNS Science.

In an initial study, GNS Science would determine the resource viability of two major geothermal fields in the Philippines, as well as reviewing the reservoir strategies and drilling performance of EDC.

EDC chief operating officer Richard Tantoco said in the statement that GNS Science would work with local specialists to help improve geothermal operations at several fields.

“This will greatly help us in the reservoir management for our existing operating fields and identify and eliminate costs, complexity and risks,” he said.

An earlier evaluation by GNS Science enabled the company to save $2.48 million in operating costs.


“Over the next four years we plan to drill 75 new geothermal wells,” said Tantoco.


“If production improves by at least 1 MW per well, compared to the average of the last three years, the value it will deliver will be an added $75 million a year in revenues.”


GNS Science business development manager Rob Johnston said in the statement that the new contract was likely to be a forerunner to further work in the Philippines.


Since the 1970s, the collaboration between New Zealand and Philippine specialists has resulted in the discovery and development of several major fields which had helped make the Philippines the world’s number two geothermal energy producer.


EDC is one of the largest geothermal companies in the world with 1,130 MW of installed geothermal capacity.