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Malaya thermal plant buyer to build more power projects

Fort Pilar Energy Inc., the parent company of Belgrove Power Corp. which won the bid for the 650-megawatt Malaya Thermal Power Plant, is looking at power generation portfolio of 2,000 to 3,000 MW in the next five years, top executives said Monday.

This developed as state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. turned over the operating documents of the Malaya plant to Belgrove after receiving the full payment of P4.185 billion.

“It is our goal to acquire more power plants to increase our portfolio,” Belgrove chairperson Sheila Romero said during the virtual turnover ceremony.

Belgrove chief executive Joseph Omar Castillo said Fort Pilar wanted to become a major player in the industry so it could capture a good market share.

“We are looking at 2,000 to 3,000 MW in the next five years. In terms of energy source, first renewable energy and baseload capacity is also being considered,” Castillo said.

Fort Pilar recently acquired the 28.59-MW solar power plant in Digos, Davao del Norte and is in the process of constructing a battery energy storage system in Zamboanga City, which is scheduled for commissioning in February next year.

Fort Pilar submitted the highest offer of P3.123 billion for the Malaya plant in May, surpassing the minimum offer price of P1.845 billion. It later assigned its rights to subsidiary Belgrove. Aside from the bid, Belgrove paid PSALM an additional P1.062 billion for the remaining fuel stock of MTPP.

Castillo said they informed the Department of Energy to immediately repair Unit 2 of Malaya power plant with a rated capacity of 350 MW and bring in two new modular aero-derivative gas engines for an additional capacity of 60 MW by end of 2021.

He said repairs on Unit 2, being a 1978 vintage plant, “is still undergoing full inspection.

“We have a cost estimate of P500 million for repair and purchase of replacement parts,” Castillo said, as he committed to complete the feasibility studies soon and embark on a rebuilding program for MTPP to bring back its reliable capacity to 650 MW.

“For unit 2, definitely we will keep it as a diesel plant but for new engines that we will be bring in to the facility we plan to have it as a multi-fuel engine so that in case the LNG terminals are put up in the country, we will be ready to receive it as well,” Castillo said.

Romero said Belgrove was planning to keep the position of Malaya “as the premier back-up power for the country’s main grid.”

She said they started talks with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to secure an ancillary services agreement. “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,” Romero said.

PSALM president Irene Garcia said the successful privatization of the Malaya power plant is a clear testament to the agency’s dedication to do our mandate.

Topics: Fort Pilar Energy Inc. , Belgrove Power Corp. , Malaya Thermal Power Plant
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