EDC: Geothermal energy production doesn't trigger quakes

EDC: Geothermal energy production doesn't trigger quakes

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines — Geothermal power production does not cause earthquakes or trigger volcanic eruptions, an official of the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) said Sunday.

Romy I. Kee, EDC Mount Apo Geothermal Plant facility head, assured the public that all activities related to geothermal power production could not trigger an earthquake or a volcanic eruption.

“We would like to reassure our stakeholders that geothermal power production does not cause earthquakes or trigger volcanic eruptions,” Kee said in a statement Sunday.

He said only a change in chemistry, pressure and temperature could cause a volcanic eruption.

“Scientists around the world are unanimous in saying that no man-made activity could cause a volcanic eruption,” he said.

Kee issued the statement amid speculative reports that EDC’s geothermal production activities could have triggered the powerful earthquakes that rocked central Mindanao recently.

“The recent movements in Mindanao all have epicenters south of Kidapawan City and none are within our project site,” he said.

He also noted that the series of temblors since Oct. 16, had been caused by movements in the Cotabato fault system and were all tectonic in origin.

He said EDC had not affected the seismicity of the area in the last two decades that it had been operating the Mount Apo Geothermal Plant (MAGP).

EDC operates two power plants on Mount Apo — M1 and M20.

Being the sole producer of the country’s geothermal energy, EDC has seismic instruments installed in each geothermal site to monitor the seismic activities in the Mount Apo area.

According to Kee, these seismic instruments along with a network of monitoring instruments of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) have been monitoring the seismicity in each of EDC’s geothermal sites, including Mount Apo Geothermal Project.