BELGROVE Power Corp. is setting aside an initial P500 million to repair the 350-megawatt (MW) second unit of the Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP), an official of Fort Pilar Energy, Inc. said, speaking for its subsidiary.

“We’ve already allocated P500 million for the repairs of unit 2. Next year, we’ll be completing our feasibility study on unit 1 on how much capital is needed to either replace it or rehabilitate (it),” Fort Pilar Energy Chief Executive Officer Joseph Omar A. Castillo said in a virtual briefing on Monday.

Belgrove Power recently completed the purchase of the 650-MW MTPP and its underlying land in Pililla, Rizal, according to state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM). The firm paid around P4.19 billion for the assets and for the plant’s fuel inventory.

The plant’s unit 1 has a capacity of 300 MW, while unit 2 has 350 MW.

Mr. Castillo said Belgrove Power wants to keep unit 2 as a diesel plant, but wishes to install two new aeroderivative gas engines within the facility that can run on liquefied natural gas.

The engines will add an additional 60 MW of capacity to the plant and will be brought in by end-2021.

Mr. Castillo added that the new owner plans to restore the plant to its original rated capacity of 650 MW so it could provide power to the Luzon grid primarily as contingency reserves.

Meanwhile, Belgrove Power Chairman Sheila B. Romero said the firm envisions MTPP as a “premiere source of backup power.”

In an e-mailed press release on Monday, she confirmed initial talks with National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to secure an ancillary services procurement agreement.

Sought for comment on a possible power sales agreement with distribution utility Manila Electric Co., Ms. Romero said that she was “open to it.”

On Monday, state-run PSALM through its President and Chief Executive Officer Irene Joy J. Besido-Garcia turned over the plant’s documents, including the original transfer certificate of title, to Belgrove Power’s Ms. Romero.

“This act will relinquish in favor of Belgrove Power Corp. the rights and obligations of PSALM over that power plant… This is a clear testament to PSALM’s dedication to do our mandate,” said Ms. Besido-Garcia, referring to the entity’s role in privatizing government assets so it can settle its assumed obligations from the National Power Corp.

During the briefing, Ms. Besido-Garcia said PSALM’s financial obligations stood at P368 billion as of June 2021.

The Department of Energy earlier said that PSALM shouldered an annual expense of P1.2 billion from 2010 to 2019 for the plant’s upkeep. — Angelica Y. Yang