Malaya’s reliability uncertain– PSALM

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EVEN if the repair of Malaya Thermal Power Plant Unit 1 is successful, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) still cannot guarantee its 100 percent reliable operation.

PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. attributed this to technical difficulties being encountered at the plant.

“The technical difficulties encountered at Malaya Thermal Power Plant make its availability and dependability during the Malampaya shutdown from March to June 2015 uncertain,” said Ledesma.

Malaya Thermal Power Plant (Malaya) is a 40-year old plant, composed of two units with capacities of 290 megawatts (MW) and 340 MW.


Ledesma said Malaya Unit 1 has been non-operational since March 21 this year due to a material loss of HP turbine rotating parts that resulted to a high turbine vibration.

Ideally, Malaya Unit 1’s overhauling should be completed before year-end, assuming a 90-day completion period.

He said the PSALM Bids and Awards Committee would be conducting the post-qualification of the negotiated procurement this month.

Ledesma, however, said it is very likely that, upon actual opening of the unit by the contractor, a more extensive damage would be discovered.

This contingency would result in an extended completion period.

Malaya Unit 2, however, is now available after undergoing repair last October 3 due to a leak on its fuel oil heater. The repair took about 11 days. Malaya Unit 2 is also due for overhauling.

Assuming that the repair of Malaya Unit 1 will be successful, Ledesma said a 100 percent reliable operation can not be guaranteed, given its age, continuous and longer dispatch at full capacity, and fuel delivery constraints.

Since the Malampaya shutdown in November 2013, Malaya Unit 1 had been in operation for 208.07 hours until its manual tripping on March 21, 2014.

On the other hand, the total number of operating hours for Malaya Unit 2 has been recorded at 2,301.38 since November 2013 until its shutdown last September 22, 2014.

Malaya has been running as a Must-Run Unit (MRU) since 2010, and this was officially confirmed by the Department of Energy in its issuance dated January 22, 2014

“Assuming the Malaya’s Fuel Storage Tanks are filled to the maximum useable capacity of 68 million liters and with daily fuel replenishment of 750,000 liters per day, it is estimated that Units 1 and 2 shall be able to run continuously only for 22 days at maximum load of 300MW each, 38 days at average load of 200MW each, and 70 days at minimum load of 130MW each,” PSALM said.

Without fuel replenishment, Units 1 and 2 can only operate continuously for 18, 27 and 40 days at average load each of 300MW, 200MW, and 130MW, respectively.

“The fuel delivery cannot keep up with Malaya’s high fuel consumption rate,” PSALM added.

Malaya runs on Bunker C fuel, and is designed to operate as a base load plant. It was formerly owned by Manila Electric Company until the government took over its operation during martial law.

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