AC Energy eyeing to buy Malaya thermal plant

By Lenie Lectura – February 8, 2019
from Business Mirror

AC Energy Inc. is closely reviewing plans on the Malaya Thermal Power Plant which is being sold by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

“Malaya is right beside our Pililla plant so we view that as a possible peaking facility. The good thing about that is access to transmission…We will not do a coal plant there, gas will be more challenging, so it’s going to be more on peaking,” AC Energy President Eric Francia said.

AC Energy and Phinma Energy Corp. expressed interest in the plant.  The two are currently working on a deal that will give AC Energy a 51.48-percent stake in Phinma Energy valued at P3.42 billion.

Francia said if and when they pursue interest in the Malaya plant, “it’s not going to be an easy project,” because the plant is very old.

“While it makes sense to replace the whole thing, it will be very costly to rehabilitate. It’s got an expensive start-up cost,” Francia said.

All of these, he said, would be taken into consideration. “It’s good we have an extension for us to conduct studies.”

In December last year, PSALM said it has prequalified four firms vying to buy the Malaya plant, the land underlying the facility and all other assets associated with the plant’s structures.

PSALM President Irene Joy Garcia identified AC Energy Inc., DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc., DMCI Power Corp. and FGen Reliable Energy Holdings Inc. as “real serious bidders.”

The other interested bidders who earlier expressed interest, but did not submit the necessary documents are Panasia Energy Inc., Quezon Power (Philippines) Ltd. Co., Crown Investment Holdings Inc.,  Energy World Power Operations Philippines Inc., Pan Pacific Renewable Power Philippines Corp., Phinma Energy Corp., Korean firm STX and SMC Global Holdings Corp.

The plant, which consists of a 300-megawatt unit with a once-through type boiler and a 350-MW unit fitted with a conventional boiler, is a must-run unit (MRU) that provides backup power in instances when supply is deficient or unavailable in the Luzon grid.

The PSALM board recently allowed the privatization of the Malaya complex without the MRU requirement.

AC Energy was earlier looking to develop a 150-MW diesel plant in Pililla, Rizal, to serve the peaking requirement of the Luzon grid. Francia said the company is currently working on the permitting process.