power and water

PSALM turns over Malaya power plant to Fort Pilar unit

Aika Rey
PSALM turns over Malaya power plant to Fort Pilar unit

TURNOVER. PSALM President Irene Garcia hands over the title to the underlying land of the Malaya Thermal Power Plant to Belgrove Power Corporation chairperson Sheila Romero.

Belgrove Power Corporation

Fort Pilar Energy unit Belgrove Power Corporation says it will repair the 350-MW Unit 2 of the Malaya Thermal Power Plant 'immediately'

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) on Monday, September 13, turned over the operating documents for the 650-megawatt (MW) Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP) to Fort Pilar Energy subsidiary Belgrove Power Corporation.

Belgrove chief executive officer Joseph Omar Castillo said the power firm will “immediately” repair MTPP Unit 2, which has a rated capacity of 350 MW, and will bring in two new gas engines for an additional capacity of 60 MW by the end of 2021.

Castillo said the estimated cost to repair and purchase replacement parts for the 1978 plant is at P500 million, so far. Full inspection is still being conducted.

MTPP, located in Pililla, Rizal, has two units: Unit 1 which has a rated capacity of 300 MW, and Unit 2 with 350 MW.

For Unit 1, Castillo said Belgrove will conduct a feasibility study to see whether it would be rehabilitated or replaced entirely.

Belgrove chairperson Sheila Romero also reiterated the firm’s plan to keep MTPP as the “premier backup power for the country’s main grid.”

She said Belgrove already started talks with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines for an ancillary services agreement.

On possibly offering supply to the Manila Electric Company, Romero said: “We would definitely offer services for Meralco once our plans are firmed up. After all, the Malaya power plant is embedded in the Meralco franchise area.”

This is a milestone for PSALM, as previous auctions had failed. The Department of Energy earlier said MTPP’s maintenance costs were already unsustainable, with PSALM sinking into the red in the past years.

In May, Belgrove parent Fort Pilar bought the power plant at P3.12 billion, 69% higher than the minimum offer price at P1.85 billion set by PSALM. It won against Ayala-led AC Energy, which submitted an offer of P2.2 billion.

Fort Pilar paid an additional P1.06 billion for the remaining fuel stock of the power plant.

Fort Pilar acquired a 28.59-MW solar power plant in Digos City, Davao del Sur, as well. It is also constructing a battery energy storage system in Zamboanga City, which Romero said is for commissioning by February 2022. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.