Monday, April 17, 2017

Iloilo coal-fired power plant transitioning to all-Filipino

Posted on April 11, 2017

ILOILO CITY -- A Chinese-staffed 135-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Concepcion town will transition to a 100% Filipino work force within five years, the plant’s operator said.
Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) said the plant hosts around 120 Chinese workers out of a work force of over 200, but added the expiry of contracts within four or five years will see the entry of Filipinos for all positions.

“The Chinese workers will be reducing every year and the Filipino engineers will be increasing. Although the general design is of Western or International standards, when it comes to operations, there is still the Chinese flavor. That is why we would like to have a small transition to the Filipino operators,” PCPC President Roel Z. Castro said.

The plant’s building contractor was NLSC, a consortium of First Northeast Electric Power Engineering Corp. of China, Liaoning Electric Power Survey & Design Institute, and Shenyang Electric Power Design Institute Co., Ltd.

Mr. Castro said both countries are sincere in strengthening economic and cultural ties, despite ongoing bilateral disputes.

“This just proves that both countries can still do business,” he said.

Mr. Castro said that aside from the Western machinery, the coal plant also uses Chinese technology.

“We’re combining Chinese and European technology for our operations,” he said.

He added that since the start of commercial operation in August 2016, there has been no major shut down at the plant.

Chinese state TV channel CCTV-4, which is focused on international audiences, was in Concepcion on April 7 to cover the inauguration and turnover of a 4.2-kilometer road paving project by PCPC.

Reporters from the media outlet also interviewed Iloilo Gov. Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. and Mr. Castro for a feature story about the coal plant and the partnership of Iloilo and China. -- Louine Hope U. Conserva

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