Energy Development Corporation: A global, diversified renewable power company
“Energy, environment and empowerment resound in all our business undertakings, using renewable power to enable national development and create a better life for everyone today and tomorrow.”
The world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company, Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) Sustainability Statement encapsulates its almost 40 years of doing business and has paved the way for the company to become a global, diversified renewable power company.
Providing 1,458MW of clean, sustainable power from various renewable energy (RE) sources such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar sources has enabled EDC to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. As a result of getting power from EDC instead of coal power sources, the Philippines was able to avoid 6.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2015 alone.
Geothermal power continues to be the lifeblood of EDC’s operation with 1,169MW of total installed capacity primarily because aside from establishing its expertise in this form of RE, geothermal energy has become the holy grail of RE technologies with its ability to supply base load power any time and season of the year.
As a result, EDC’s 40 years of geothermal leadership has put the Philippines on the map as the second largest geothermal power producer in the world.
On top of being a pure RE company, being a good environmental citizen is crucial to EDC’s sustainability. The company adheres to all environmental laws and standards such as the ISO14001:2004 Environmental Management System.
Its geothermal facilities in Mount Apo in North Cotabato (Mindanao) and in Negros Island (Visayas) are already ISO14001:2004-certified. Its other facilities in Leyte (Visayas) and Bicol (Luzon) are likewise preparing for their own certification.
A vital part of EDC’s environmental management system is its zero disposal system (ZDS) in its geothermal steamfields, which are said to remove threats to the environment. The company has pioneered this practice of reinjecting separated (waste) brine water back into the original geothermal reservoir from which it came, situated three kilometres below ground, through the Fluid Collection and Reinjection System.
Reinjection is done continually 24/7 every day of the year or for as long as the power plant is operational. Why is this significant? Because this reinjection system removes the pathway for the contact of waste with the environment and the surrounding communities. There are 37 personnel in EDC’s Environmental Team in its four geothermal business units who guide the Operations Team in this reinjection process.
Still, EDC’s corporate commitment to environmental preservation is not limited to this system. The company relies heavily on healthy watersheds with which to recharge their geothermal reservoirs. Without trees, their geothermal steamfields would dry up which would result in EDC’s inability to provide clean, renewable power to the country.
To address this need and its responsibility to take care of the environment in areas where it operates, EDC implements its BINHI greening legacy program. BINHI (or seedling in English) is the Philippines’ first comprehensive private-sector led reforestation program that employs science to bridge forest gaps, restore denuded forests, and bring back to abundance 96 vanishing premium native tree species. By restoring 7,937 hectares of denuded forests inside our geothermal reservations through BINHI, EDC is able to capture 19,000 metric tons of carbon annually.
BINHI represents the heart of EDC’s environmental efforts. This strategic approach to reforestation protects and rehabilitates Philippine forests in a holistic manner while propagating native tree species and enhancing the biodiversity in its areas of operation through four modules: Tree For Life, Tree for Food, Tree for Leisure, and Tree for the Future. These four modules include activities such as establishing and maintaining tree plantations and agro-forest farms as alternative sources of livelihood for the communities living within the company’s geothermal reservation; identifying, securing and rescuing threatened premium native tree species from possible extinction; as well as the preservation of forest areas for leisure purposes or for conversion into eco-tourism destinations in collaboration with NGOs and community associations.
All these enable EDC to provide clean, renewable, sustainable power for present and future generations as it enhances the environment and provides inclusive growth for its host communities.