165-MW Casecnan hydro power attracts investors
State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) said 13 companies have signified their intention to bid for the 165-megawatt Casecnan Hydroelectric Power Plant (CHEPP) in Nueva Ecija.
In an email to the Inquirer, Psalm said these 13 registered bidders had already paid participation fees and attended the pre-bid conference.
Psalm, however, did not disclose the identity of the potential bidders.
Interested parties are given until Feb. 24, 2023 to submit their bids to purchase the power asset, which is being sold on an “as is, where is” basis.
Located at Barangay Villarica in Pantabangan town, the plant had been covered by the 20-year build-operate-transfer agreement between CE Casecnan Water and Energy Co. Inc. and the National Irrigation Administration, which ended on Dec. 11, 2021.
“The CHEPP is a ‘run-of-river’ type of plant with limited impounding area. The water from the reservoir flows into the plant’s powerhouse, down to the Pantabangan lake and into the irrigation channels of the National Irrigation Administration, which will continue its mandate of irrigating farm lands even after the privatization of the CHEPP,” Psalm said.
Psalm held a pre-bid conference on Tuesday, giving bidders an opportunity to clarify concerns about the auction process.
In its invitation to bid, Psalm earlier said those joining the bidding must “execute a confidentiality agreement and an undertaking” pursuant to Section 78 of [Republic Act No.] 9136.”
Aside from paying a non-refundable participation fee of P160,000, Psalm required bidders to submit a letter of intent to participate in the auction.
Psalm has been selling power assets, such as the Casecnan hydro facility, to fulfill its mandate of settling the financial obligations it had assumed from the National Power Corp.
Outstanding financial obligations were reduced to P355.88 billion as of end-June, a significant decrease from P1.2 trillion recorded in 2003.
Jordeene B. Lagare
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