ME Alumnus Attends NZ Geothermal Training

June 06, 2018

His interest in power plants and passion for learning led him to a great opportunity for professional and career advancement.

Engr. John Carlo C. Juaneza, a Mechanical Engineering alumnus from Malayan Colleges Laguna (MCL), was among the 28 selected Indonesian and Filipino geothermal professionals to attend an extensive program in Geothermal Project Management at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, from March to April 2018. Carlo is currently a Power Plant Operations Supervisor in Maibarara Geothermal Inc. (MGI) in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. MGI is the developer and operator of the 32MW Maibarara Geothermal Power Project (MGPP), which received the ASEAN Energy Awards’ best renewable energy project under on-grid category in 2017. As a supervisor, Carlo is in-charge of monitoring the power plant operations to ensure that it is under optimum condition for 24-hour operation.

The study program was sponsored by the NZ government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Carlo was joined by four (4) Filipino trainees selected by the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP), where MGI is a member.

The program lasted for 35 days with a 2-week session on Geothermal Energy followed by a series of lectures on the Fundamentals of Project Management. Their group also visited several geothermal fields and power plants in NZ. The program was conducted by experienced geothermal project management professionals.

“Mahirap din kasi nakakapagod. 5 days a week kaming may pasok. May mga reports din kami. Parang regular school talaga, tapos 28 lang kami sa room, 23 doon ay Indonesians,” Carlo described.

“Tinuruan kami kung paano kakausapin hindi lang yung mga empleyado, kundi pati yung mga stakeholders at contractors. Natutunan din namin yung different techniques as a leader at kung paano mag-handle ng pressure,” he added.

Counting as a personal milestone, Carlo thanked MGI management for the opportunity to train in NZ. He is also grateful to be part of MGI and the chance for a fresh graduate like him in 2012 to be part of big, challenging, and exciting project like the Maibarara geothermal power facility. The chance to work with Filipino young and seasoned engineers became a first-hand learning experience for him.

With this experience, Carlo is even more motivated to apply what he learned from the program and to share these learnings with his co-workers. He also hopes that he can continue to hone his knowledge and skills in geothermal energy, contributing improvements not only in MGI but also to the geothermal industry in the country.