User Group Profile: Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group

The Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group (PCPUG), the leading nonprofit organization involved in generating electricity in the Philippines, recently held a conference introducing its mission and vision.

The PCPUG was first conceived by Founder and President Engr. Edgardo Cruz in the late 1990s as an organization responsible for disseminating information about the technology of coal-fired power generation in the Philippines. Since its formation, the organization has experienced significant growth yet never lost sight of its founding principles: promote the importance of coal as the primary fuel for electricity generation in the Philippines.

A Big Success

Today, the PCPUG conducts training, seminars, and forums to promote coal-fired generation throughout the Philippines. The organization’s flagship event is the annual PCPUG technical conference. The PCPUG sponsored its sixth Technical Forum, held in the Ruby B Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, November 3–4, 2011. The agenda for the forum included presentations covering a range of topics of interest to coal plant engineers and developers (Figure 9).

9. Forum participants. The PCPUG held its sixth Technical Forum on the safe and economical use of coal for power generation in the Philippines last November. Courtesy: PCPUG

The forum commenced with welcoming remarks by Jim Willey, facility manager of the Quezon power plant. Willey explained the purpose of the forum was to exchange technology expertise and knowledge among the country’s coal generators.

Kevin Pierce, plant manager of the AES Masinloc Power Plant, described steps taken by AES to expand its business into the Philippines. He also spoke about the importance AES placed on improving plant efficiency and output of the Masinloc plant and the company’s investment to achieve that goal. The 660-MW plant’s availability increased from 38% to 74% from 2008, when AES purchased the plant, to the end 2010. (Masinloc Power Plant was a POWER 2011 Top Plant and was profiled in the October 2011 issue.)

Other important and informative presentations were made during the first day of the forum, such as: “Lubrication: Keeping Moisture Out,” by P.A.R Alloy Inc.; “High Energy Pumps,” by P.A.R Alloy Inc. and RER; and “Local Manufacturing and Servicing Capabilities for Coal-Fired Power Plants,” by Christian Pfeiffer of Tiger Machinery.

The second day of the forum was devoted to coal combustion. It began with Ronald Pircon, president and CEO of Benetech, presenting “Reducing Spontaneous Combustion with an Oxidation Inhibitor.” Another presentation featured Richard Storm, president of Innovative Combustion Technologies, discussing “Combustion Optimization for Subbituminous Coal.” Bob Taylor, the Powder River Basin Coal Users’ Group chairman of the board, also spoke on his favorite topic: the safe and economical use of PRB coals (Figure 10).

10. Recognizing participants. PCPUG President Ed Cruz is shown handing a certificate of appreciation to PRB Coal Users’ Group Chairman of the Board Bob Taylor. Courtesy: PCPUG

Attendees reported that the conference format was conducive to learning, and much interaction with the speakers took place. The success of this forum has motivated the sponsors to begin early preparations for the next meeting, in 2012. Information on membership and future meetings can be found at, or email

—Contributed by Eduardo V. Bautista Jr. for the Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group.