Gov’t pushes for Malaya power plant rehab

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Gov’t pushes for Malaya power plant rehab
The rehabilitation of the power plant will provide additional capacity to the Luzon grid, which is expected to undergo power shortages by March 2015

MANILA, Philippines – The government is inviting a willing contractor that can finish the rehabilitation of the Malaya Uni1 power plant by February 2015 for a negotiated contract, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

According to DOE, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (PSALM) plans to start the procurement services for the rehabilitation of one unit in Malaya in September 2014 and finish it by January or February 2015. 

The rehabilitation of the power plant will provide additional capacity to the Luzon grid, which is expected to undergo power shortages by March 2015. Once done with repairs, the entire Malaya facility will run its full capacity of 650 megawatts (MW).

A negotiated contract, according to the DOE, is the fastest way to undertake the said rehabilitation.

“The contractor will try to finish it by February 2015 but I still have to meet them to assess my comfort level with the contractor,” energy secretary Jericho Petilla said.

Petilla earlier said that he wanted to include the deadline in the terms and reference of the maintenance contract. If Malaya is not running by February 28, 2015, penalties will imposed on the contractor.

Overhaul needed

Malaya Unit1, ideally, should be running its full capacity, before the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya natural gas pipeline in 2015. Malampaya will go offline from March 15 to April 14, 2015 to start its Phase 3, aimed at maintaining fuel supply for power plants that sustain half of Luzon’s power requirements.

According to experts, the shutdown of Malampaya could no longer be rescheduled. This, sources say, worries the DOE and PSALM since Malaya’s capacity is crucial to Luzon’s power needs.

The energy department projects that there will be a 200-MW deficit next year, meaning energy supply will be thin from March to May 2015, the months with the highest power demand. An additional 400-500-MW capacity is needed as a buffer for the peak months, Petilla said.

The energy secretary did not identify the contractor but he said Jeremy Walker, based in Australia, were among those that offered services for the Malaya repairs. Walker, sources said, wants to assess the spare rotor of the broken unit so it can meet the government’s February 2015 deadline.

Malaya is made up of a 350-MW unit fitted with a conventional boiler and a 300-MW unit with a once-through type boiler. It was first rehabilitated by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCo) in 1995 under a 15-year agreement.

Petilla added that KEPCo is also interested to do the rehabilitation. –

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