PSALM improves bid terms for 4 power barges

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State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. is bidding out anew four diesel-fired power barges in Visayas and Mindanao under “new terms,” which were hoped to attract serious investor interest.

“PSALM board has approved the privatization of the power barges through another round of public bidding that includes some changes in the terms of the sale,” PSALM president and chief executive officer Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. said in a statement issued Monday.

PSALM needed to revise the bidding terms after three failed attempts last year to privatize power barges 101, 102, 103 and 104. Prospective bidders deemed the original terms “too risky.” In the last bidding, only Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. came but it refused to match the prices set by the government for the barges.

PSALM will bid out within the second half of the year power barges 101, 102 and 103, which are all based in Iloilo, in one package, while power barge 104 will be offered separately.

“PBs 101, 102 and 103 will not be required to be transferred to Mindanao. However, the buyer of PB 104 will be required to operate the barge in Mindanao for at least five years,” Ledesma said.

Under the previous terms, the winning bidders of the three Visayas-based power barges are required to transfer to and operate the facilities in Mindanao.

Ledesma said the PSALM board had also agreed to “sell the power barges on an ‘as is, where is’ basis, [which] means that no purchase request or purchase order will be attached to the sale agreement.”

“Having addressed the concerns of interested parties, we are positive that the new round of bidding for PBs 101, 102, 103 and 104 will be successful,” he said.

Trans-Asia Oil, according to its president Francisco Viray, said the new terms presented by PSALM “looks interesting.”

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