Safety First Guaranteed at EDC

By Nino Christian Pedraza
Flow Test & Sampling Geochemist

I am a Flow Test & Sampling Geochemist. Ever since  I’ve assumed this position, I knew that one of the  main, if not the most vital, part of my daily work  is to ensure the safety of people. That is why our  team has been very conscious in prioritizing safety  over production. We aim not just to talk about it,  but to make it as integral and as intrinsic as possible  in our day-to-day work execution. We believe that  although it may be the case that effective work  execution translates to good production, marrying  safety with effective work execution will result in  operational excellence.  
 
In our yearly key performance indicators and  monitored accomplishments, leading and lagging  indicators such as TRIR, attendance to defensive  driving seminars, undergoing roadworthiness  inspections, timely FAR and IIR submission,  participation in HSE trainings, to name a few,  are imperative. Our CIs such as extension of our  tapping ports to pad surfaces so that work-at-heights  and confined space risks are eliminated and/or  mitigated are also geared towards providing a safe  work place.  
 
This year was no different. We recognized that  the drive to prioritize and improve on the aspect  of safety is even clearer and more vigorous than  ever. In line with the Regenerative HSE Culture  that the company is pursuing, the team has been  very supportive in engaging our people daily to  take active participation in the HSE transformation  journey. HSE is now being steadily inculcated in the  behavior of our people, not just as mere followers of  safety programs but each slowly seeing themselves  as HSE leaders.  
 
Additionally, we believe that insights, comments,  feedback, and recommendations from every angle  of the organization, along with safety of voice,  are crucial in driving this journey forward. One  such program that supports this and is one of our  non-negotiables in our weekly calendar is our  Team Tailgates. Although site-wide and even fleetwide Tailgates and Townhalls are conducted, we  have proven that only in these focused groups are  discussions more fruitful, more engaging, and more  productive. During these weekly Team Tailgates,  people feel that their safety concerns are being  listened to as well as being addressed, and only then  can we reassure them that their participation in our  programs (e.g., Good catch, HSE conversations, risk  management, etc.) will not just have a consequential  impact on the company but to their individual safety  as well.  
 
At the end of the day, the goal is not just to craft,  execute, and assess the effectiveness of a safety  program, but to show genuine care and concern for  the safety and welfare of not just ourselves, but the  people we are working with as well.
 
The intensity and frequency of typhoons have been  increasing. To reduce their risks and damages, we  strengthened and typhoon-proofed our facilities. In  the powerhouses, we installed thicker roofing sheets,  added purlins on the roof, built studs on the walls,  and reinforced the roll-up doors.  
 
In addition, we constructed concrete-bunker type  buildings in our control buildings, replaced wooden  materials with Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) in the  cooling towers, and reinforced fan decks and fan  cylinders.  
 
EDC has a nationwide presence, with facilities  located in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. In total,  we have a combined current installed capacity of  1,476.6 Megawatts (MW). To date, we have 10  geothermal contract areas, four of which have  commercial operations. These facilities are located  in Leyte, Negros Oriental, Albay and Sorsogon, Mt.  Apo – Cotabato, Nueva Ecija for FG Hydro, Burgos  Wind Energy and solar in Ilocos Norte, and the  EDC Siklab Power Corporation with solar rooftops  installed in Gaisano malls located in Iloilo, Aklan,  Leyte, and Sorsogon.  
We provide power to electric cooperatives  (ECs) and distribution utilities (DUs), supplying  commercial, residential, and industrial customers.  Our BacMan Geothermal, Inc. (BGI) and Green  Core Geothermal, Inc. subsidiaries are also  licensed to provide electricity to eligible businesses  and institutions under the government’s Retail  Competition and Open Access (RCOA) and its  Green Energy Option Program (GEOP). We have  a diverse customer base which includes commercial  and institutional clients and directly connected  customers.  
 
In creating value for our stakeholders and ensuring  business sustainability, we provide them with flexible  contract terms, value-added services, and guidance  in their transition to renewable energy. We assess  and evaluate our performance in delivering power  to our customers and use this to strengthen further  and improve our services—this in turn helps promote  customer satisfaction and retention.  
 
Our headquarters are located in Manila, but we  ensure local employment in our areas of operation.  We prioritize qualified applicants from our host  provinces for career opportunities. EDC complies  with current wage orders and minimum wage  standards. Moreover, we benchmark offers against  the industry average. Apart from job security, EDC  also contributes to local economies by working with  locally-based suppliers. We work closely with our  community organizations and cooperatives and  implement programs to build their capacity for  economic participation.  
 
Our facilities and operational efficiency are  maintained through the Facilities Management  system (FMS). The risk of natural disasters and  the mismanagement of manufactured capital will  hamper our operations. With a holistic perspective,  the impacts of our facilities in our energy generation  process go beyond business and extend to our host  communities and the environment. To regenerate  our manufactured capital, we conduct upgrading  programs and retrofitting activities, along with  impact management. All these are handled through  our FMS. To evaluate the success of our operations,  we look at its overall efficiency, the productivity of  our employees, and the quality of service delivered  to our customers.