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.