First Gen bidding for CBK privatization

First Gen bidding for CBK privatization

EDC’s new Bicol plant vows relief to tight Luzon power supply

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Lopez-led First Gen Corp. is seeking to vie for the privatization of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydroelectric power plant complex in Laguna province, an official said.

Francis Giles Puno, First Gen president and COO, said the group “continue[s] to be interested” in the 796.64-megawatt (MW) project, a state-owned power asset up for privatization by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm).

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The official also said that the group already secured bid documents.

“So, to the extent, we can increase our hydro facilities, and CBK, obviously, is a pump storage. It will enable more renewable energy to come online,” Puno told reporters in a chance interview late last week.

In March, Psalm chairman and Finance chief Ralph Recto said the state-run organization expects to generate P50 billion to P100 billion from the privatization of the CBK power plants in Lumban, Majayjay, and Kalayaan in Laguna.

Recto said they were targeting to conduct the bidding in the “next few months,” with the awarding eyed by 2025.

Currently, the CBK plant complex is under a build-rehabilitate-operate-transfer and power purchase agreement between the CBK Power Company Limited and the National Power Corporation for 25 years. This setup will last until February 2026.

According to PSALM President and CEO Dennis Edward Dela Serna, the CBK complex is the group’s “major privatization project for 2024.”

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“PSALM will commit all its efforts to ensure that this will be a win-win privatization project for both the government and the winning private company, yielding optimal returns while serving the government’s interest,” Dela Serna previously said.

The Asian Development Bank would serve as the transaction advisor of Psalm to monetize the CBK power plants.

Meanwhile, the top official of First Gen said that they continue to be supportive of the Marcos administration’s renewable energy goals.

“We need more investments in clean and renewable energy. And so we’re supportive of the government’s policy to increase that and meet the target for 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040. It’s a challenge, but I think we’re up to the challenge,” he said.

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Just this February, First Gen formally took over the 165-MW Casecnan Hydroelectric Power Plant as it won the bidding after offering $526 million.

TAGS: First Gen, hydroelectric power

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