Romeros allot P 500M for repair of Malaya power plant | Inquirer Business
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Romeros allot P 500M for repair of Malaya power plant

/ 04:03 AM September 14, 2021

The Romero group has earmarked P500 million for the repair and purchase of needed parts for the 350-megawatt Unit 2 generator of the 650-MW Malaya oil-fired power plant complex in Rizal province, which they intend to bring back to top shape within four months.

The government through the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Corp. (PSALM) on Monday formally handed over to Belgrove Power Corp.—a subsidiary of Fort Pilar Energy Inc. (FPEI)— the power plant itself as well as the land it sits on.

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This was done after PSALM confirmed receipt of a total of about P4.2 billion for the assets (P3.12 billion) as well as fuel on stock (P1.06 billion).

FPEI on May won a competitive bidding for Malaya at P3.12 billion and exercised the prerogative to assign to Belgrove the ownership of the assets.

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“We plan to keep that position of Malaya as the premier backup power for the country’s main grid,” said Sheila Romero, chair of Belgrove, in a turnover ceremony.

Romero added Belgrove has begun talks with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to secure an ancillary services agreement with the grid operator.

Joseph Omar Castillo, chief executive officer of Belgrove, said they intended to immediately repair the 43-year-old Unit 2 of Malaya as well as to bring in by the end of 2021 two new modular gas-fired engines for an additional capacity of 60 MW.

“We are conducting a feasibility study, which will be completed next year, on whether to repair or replace the 300-MW Unit 1,” Castillo said. “If we would replace Unit 1 [with a new generator], it would take 12 to 18 months.”

Even then, Castillo said they were also considering hybrid or multi-fuel generators for future additions at Malaya so that the power complex may be able to use lower cost imported LNG or liquefied natural gas.

Also, Romero said the FPEI group including Belgrove wanted to become a major player in the energy industry and intended to quickly rack up a portfolio of 1,000 MW to rev up their momentum.

FPEI last week announced the acquisition of the 28.59-MW solar power farm in Digos, Davao del Norte. They are now working on expanding the facility to 40 MW.

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FPEI is also building a battery energy storage system in Zamboanga City, which is scheduled for commissioning in February 2022.

Irene Besido-Garcia, president and chief executive of PSALM, said the proceeds from the privatization of Malaya would help reduce the state firm’s outstanding obligations by a net of P23 billion to P358 billion by end-2021 from P381.7 billion at end-2020. INQ

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