By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 29, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Semirara Mining and Power Corp. is engaging the services of Japanese energy and electronics giant Toshiba Corp. to optimize the operations and extend the life span of the Calaca power plants in Batangas with state-of-the-art technologies.
Semirara subsidiary Sem-Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC) and long-time partner Toshiba recently entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a partnership for the deployment of total asset management on the coal-fired power plants.
The Japanese firm said the MOU covers the application of internet of things (IoT) solutions to predictive monitoring of the plant’s equipment to detect emerging problems and securing a longer operating life.
It also includes staff training to enhance operation and management capabilities, including repair and maintenance.
Semirara operates the four-unit, 900-megawatt (MW) power plants – the 2x300-MW coal plant under SCPC and the newer 2x150-MW power plant under Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. which started operating in 2016.
Semirara and Toshiba have long been partners since the Japanese firm delivered the steam turbine, generator and related equipment for Unit 1 in 1984, and has subsequently provided technical support for the plant, said Takao Konishi, vice president of the Thermal & Hydro Power Systems & Services Division in Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions Co.
“We have worked with (Semirara parent) DMCI Group since they took ownership of the plant, and built up a good relationship over the years. We hope to advance this partnership further, and to enhance customer support, by applying our cutting-edge technology, including IoT technology, to the plant’s operation and maintenance. We hope to contribute to power supply stability in the Philippines and to enhance customer satisfaction,” he said.
With the Toshiba partnership, Semirara chairman and CEO Isidro Consunji said the older power plant would have less outages and, in turn, generate savings.
“We are very satisfied with the technical support services that Toshiba supplies. We expect to win life-cycle cost savings for Calaca by reducing unexpected outage, and to achieve optimized, comprehensive and efficient operations and maintenance management through the partnership envisaged by the MOU,” he said.
Earlier, Semirara announced a budget of up to $190 million to rehabilitate its old Calaca plants to raise the plants’ capacity and lessen emissions.
The upgrade, which is expected to be completed in 2019, is cheaper than building new plants, Consunji said.
SCPC’s Unit 1 is more than 35 years old while the other one is 30 years old.
Another expansion is currently in the works, a 2x350-MW coal fired power plant under St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., a joint venture between Semirara and Meralco Powergen Corp.