PSALM approves rehab of Malaya plant
The rehabilitation of the Malaya Unit 1 will help plug the anticipated power supply deficiency next year

IN AID OF POWER SUPPLY. The rehabilitation of the Malaya Unit 1 will help plug the supply deficiency that is anticipated next year. File photo by Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) board has approved the rehabilitation of Unit 1 of the Malaya Thermal Power Plant in Rizal, the state firm’s president said.

“The board has approved the overhauling of Malaya 1. Procurement for the service will be handled by the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC),” said PSALM President Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. in a text message Tuesday, August 19.

The bid schedule has yet to be finalized but industry stakeholders are calling for the speedy rehab of the power facility before the Luzon grid runs out of power supply in the summer months of 2015.

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), for one, strongly urged PSALM to fast-track the rehabilitation of Unit 1 so that the entire Malaya facility can run at its full capacity of 650 megawatts (MW).

PSALM and the Department of Energy (DOE) also want the rehabilitation done before March next year.

DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, who sits as vice chairman of the PSALM board, said the board has been continuously meeting on how to fast-track the rehab work.

“Technically, the DOE is only one seat in the board. Any decision will have to involve the board,” he said in a separate text message.

The PSALM board is headed by finance secretary Cesar Purisima.

In aid of power supply

The power facility consists of a 300-MW unit with a once-through type boiler and a 350-MW unit fitted with a conventional boiler. It was rehabilitated in 1995 by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCo) under a 15-year rehabilitate-operate-manage-maintain agreement.

According to Petilla, KEPCo has informed the agency that Unit 1 of Malaya needs to be overhauled. “KEPCO is among those interested to undertake the rehab,” Petilla said.

The DOE and PSALM said the rehabilitation of the Malaya Unit 1 would help plug the supply deficiency that is anticipated next year. (READ: Power emergency: What it means)

Ideally, Ledesma had said, the rehab of the Malaya Unit 1 should be finished before the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas pipeline next year.

The Malampaya facility will go offline from March 15 to April 14, 2015 to commence Phase 3 of the installation of a platform aimed at maintaining fuel supply to power plants providing half of Luzon’s power needs.

The shutdown of the Malampaya facility, which, according to consortium members could no longer be rescheduled, worries the DOE and PSALM because the capacity of Malaya is crucial to the power requirements of Luzon.

Based on DOE projections, there will be a deficit of 200 MW next year. Energy supply will be thin by March to May 2015, the months with the highest electricity demand for the year. To address this, Petilla said an additional 400 MW-500 MW capacity would be needed to act as buffer supply during the peak months. (READ: Solving the energy crisis by empowering the people) –



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