Belgrove Power Corp. (BPC), a subsidiary of Romero-led Fort Pilar Energy Inc., is spending about P3.8 billion for the construction of a 60-megawatt (MW) gas turbine power plant in Pililla, Rizal.

The power facility, which is expected to commence construction by June next year, will be composed of two generator units with 30MW capacity each and will be operated to provide ancillary services to the grid.

Ancillary services, as defined in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2011, are services that are necessary to support the transmission capacity and energy from resources to loads while maintaining reliable operation of the transmission system.

“The proposed project will be operated to supply power when the national grid cannot deliver the power requirement, and to maintain the power quality, reliability and security of the grid,” said BPC in a project description submitted to the Environmental Management Bureau.

The plant will be built inside the compound of the non-operational Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTTP), which was successfully sold to Fort Pilar by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

BPC intends to use aeroderivative gas turbines, which are touted as having the highest availability of any thermal power technology. It is expected to be ready for commercial operations by December of next year.

The power firm will prepare an environmental management plan to address the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project.

Also, it plans to hire about 100 workers for the construction phase and about 20 more to oversee the entire operation and maintenance of the project.

BPC earlier informed the Department of Energy that it plans to repair MTTP Unit 2, which could no longer be utilized due to damaged turbine and air pre-heater. The company has yet to decide if it will rehab or replace Unit 1.

Fort Pilar bought MTTP and its underlying land from PSALM for P4,185,656,423.99. The proceeds will be used to settle the remaining financial obligations that PSALM absorbed from the National Power Corp. Fort Pilar Energy Chief Executive Officer Joseph Omar Castillo earlier said BPC will earmark an initial P500 million for the repair of the 43-year old power facility and the purchase of two new modular aeroderivative gas engines.

The new engines could also accommodate mixed fuel, including liquefied natural gas (LNG). Ultimately, the goal is to bring back its reliable capacity to 650MW.

“We expect to complete repairs for unit 2 within four months. We will keep unit 2 as diesel but the new engines we will be bringing in the facility have the capability to handle mixed fuel, so when the LNG terminals are put up in the country we would be ready to receive it as well,” said Castillo.

Fort Pilar wants to produce as much as 3,000MW in power generating capacity in five years. “We want to be a major player in the industry so we can capture a good market share of 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts in the next five years. But in terms of energy source, renewable energy will be our focus and baseload capacity is also a consideration,” said Castillo.

Fort Pilar Energy Chairman Shiela Romero had said the company can achieve its target capacity by acquiring more power plants in the future.

“Malaya is the first in Luzon and, last month, we also completed the acquisition of ADSI [Alterpower Digos Solar Inc.].  We’re also constructing a constructing a battery energy storage system [BESS] in Zamboanga,” said Romero, adding that Fort Pilar envisions MTTP as “the premier back-up power for the country’s main grid.” The BESS, meanwhile, is scheduled for commissioning in February next year.

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