• Korean firm STX Marine denies irregularity in PSALM contracts

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    KOREAN firm STX Marine Service Co. Ltd. denied any irregularities in the contracts it entered into with state-run Power Sector Assets Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

    Junyong Son, vice president and head of the Philippine branch of STX Marine Service, said the contracts are compliant with the terms and conditions set by PSALM.

    “These two contracts have been performing well, compliant with and responsive to all terms and conditions set forth in their respective contracts with PSALM,” said Son.

    The company currently has two contracts with PSALM – one is an operation and maintenance service contract for the 650-megawatt (MW) Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP) and the other is the overhauling of the Unit1 turbine.

    Son admitted that the problem on cultural differences between Korean technical management engineers and local staff likely existed in the initial stage. But he said STX Marine Service has succeeded in localization and fostered a cooperative relationship with the majority of MTPP staff.

    “Complaints filed by local staff are not caused by our technical skills but treatment to them due to cultural differences and those have been resolved already,” Son said.

    In terms of the overhauling work for Unit-1 of the Malaya power plant, Son said it was a very challenging project due to the high potential risk and fortuitous event.

    “No one and not even the asset owner can determine extent of the damage of the turbine including the overhauling period needed since it has not been opened and overhauled for 17 years,” he added.

    Nevertheless, Son pointed out that STX Marine Service, by applying best practices, has accomplished the overhauling work without any damage to the turbine.

    He attributed the success to the cooperation of competent subcontractors who are well-experienced in the overhauling of steam turbines through proper and safe procedures.

    Malaya Thermal Power Plant is now ready to provide emergency power supply to the main grid.

    At the same time, Son stressed that STX Marine Service is qualified to undertake the projects as it is a specialized service company founded purposely to provide integrated total services with technical experts who have accumulated experience and technology.

    STX Group used to own several power plants in Korea, such as the Banwol 174-MW and Gumi 97-MW thermal power plants, and the plants were visited by PSALM technical working group last year.

    STX Marine Service also carried out various power plant O&M contracts and overhauling from 2012 in Iraq, the Philippines, Brazil, and other countries.

    STX Group was one of the largest conglomerates in Korea until it was downsized and underwent major restructuring due to financial losses suffered by some of its subsidiaries and affiliates.

    STX Marine Service, as an independent subsidiary of STX Corporation, has never applied for bankruptcy and has been maintaining a stable and sound financial status since its establishment.

    It has entered the Philippine electric power market for the long term, aiming to contribute to the supply of reliable and affordable electric power with reasonable price under fair competition in the Philippines.

    STX Marine Service said it is looking for opportunities to provide its services and is poised to invest in electric power business in the main islands and especially the small and isolated islands of the Philippines such as Marinduque and Palawan.

    STX Marine Service added that it has been making the utmost effort to comply with provisions of PSALM and conditions for the contracts.

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