The PNOC (Philippines National Oil Co)-Energy Development Corp and the Indonesian oil company Pertamina are in discussions to establish a joint venture to undertake geothermal projects in the country. Under the proposed $600 million scheme, the two companies plan to build three geothermal power plants with a combined capacity of 300 MW.

Electricity generated by the power stations would be sold to the Indonesian state electricity utility, PLN. Details are expected to be finalised before the end of the year.

The three power plants will be built in North Sulawesi and South Sumatra. If the venture is successful, the facilities could be in operation within four to six years. Funding for the projects may be raised through concessional loans. Earlier this year the two companies signed a joint study agreement to carry out a feasibility study of the three areas provisionally identified as suitable for the projects.

It has been estimated that Indonesia has a geothermal potential of as much as 20 000 MW although only 800 MW has been exploited to date. EDC currently owns and operates four geothermal facilities in the Philippines.