Belgrove to operate 650MW MTTP

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

With the media attending virtually, the handover ceremony was led by PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer, Irene Besido-Garcia and Belgrove Chairperson Sheila B. Romero.

In a bid held last May, Fort Pilar Energy Inc. submitted the highest offer—P3,123,500,000.00. It surpassed the Minimum Offer Price of P1,845,222,000.00 that was set by the PSALM Board of Directors for this negotiated sale process.  The other qualified negotiating party, AC Energy Corporation, submitted an offer of P2,220,000,000.00.

Fort Pilar later assigned its rights to its subsidiary Belgrove. Aside from the bid, Belgrove paid PSALM an additional Php1.062 Billion for the remaining fuel stock of MTPP.

After the hand-over ceremony, Belgrove’s Romero and its Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Omar Castillo briefed the media on its plans for MTPP. 

Castillo said that Belgrove has informed the Department of Energy about its intent on the MTPP which is to “immediately repair Unit 2 of Malaya with a rated capacity of 350 MW and bring in two new modular aeroderivative gas engines for an additional capacity of 60 MW” by end of 2021.  The Belgrove CEO likewise noted that the repairs on Unit 2, being a 1978 vintage plant, “is still undergoing full inspection.  However, at this time, we have a cost estimate of Php500 Million for repair and purchase of replacement parts”.  Castillo however committed to complete its feasibility studies soon and embark on a rebuilding program for MTPP to bring back its reliable capacity to 650 MW.

Chairperson Sheila Romero confirmed that “we plan to keep that position of Malaya as the premier back-up power for the country’s main grid”. Romero likewise confirmed that they have begun talks with the National Grid Corporation to secure an ancillary services agreement.

With regard to a possible power sales agreement with MERALCO, Romero stated that “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.”

For future investments in MTPP, “we are still in the early stages of a feasibility study for the power plant.  As such, we do not have an estimate for further investments.  Rest assured, we will inform the media once we are ready with our investment program for the plant.”

Belgrove parent, Fort Pilar, has been increasing its power portfolio recently.  Last Tuesday, it announced its acquisition of a 28.59 MW solar power plant in Digos, Davao del Norte.  It is also in the process of constructing a battery energy storage system in Zamboanga City, which is scheduled for commissioning in February next year.  The acquisition of MTPP is the company’s first investment in Luzon.

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