7 firms bid for Casecnan hydro plant

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Seven firms, including SN Aboitiz Power and a unit of First Gen Corp., expressed interest in operating and maintaining the power component of the Casecnan Multi-Purpose Project (CMPP), state-run firm Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said yesterday.

Of the seven prospective bidders that attended the pre-bid conference for the operation and maintenance service contract (OMSC) of the 165-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric power plant last week, two are foreign companies, namely Korean firm Soosan ENS Co. Ltd. and China Energy Engineering Group Heilongjiang Energy Engineering Co. Ltd.

Meanwhile, the five local firms include Marine-Power Industry Asia Pacific Corp., Atdinum Energy Inc., SN Aboitiz Power-Magat Inc., and First Gen Hydro Power Corp.

During the pre-bid conference, PSALM discussed the terms and conditions of the procurement and provided the interested bidders an opportunity to ask questions and request for clarification on concerns relative to the requirements mentioned in the bidding documents.

The state-run firm has set the bid opening on Oct. 12, which will be done through a hybrid arrangement where people can participate at the PSALM office, while others may opt to participate via videoconferencing.

The contract has an approved budget of P462 million.

The OMSC, which has a term of one year, shall commence on Nov. 26 while PSALM works on the privatization process of the CMPP.

This will give the operator and maintenance (O&M) contractor sufficient lead time to familiarize itself with the operations of the CHPP and allow it to mobilize its personnel in preparation for the actual operation and maintenance beginning Dec. 12.

CE Casecnan Water and Energy Co. Inc. (CEWEC) operates the facility by virtue of an Independent Power Producer Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract with NIA set to expire on Dec. 11.

“The procurement of an O&M operator will ensure the continuous generation of energy, as well as the uninterrupted irrigation service of the Casecnan Project upon Casecnan’s turnover from the CEWEC to the government on Dec. 11, 2021,” PSALM president and CEO Irene Besido-Garcia said.

PSALM, through the National Power Corp., only owns 60 percent of the CMPP, while the remaining 40 percent is under the National Irrigation Administration.

The ultimate plan is to pursue PSALM’s privatization of the CMPP in 2022, consistent with the clear instruction in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

The CHPP is a combined irrigation and power generation project located at Sitio Pauan, Brgy. Villarica, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on the island of Luzon, about 150 kilometers north of Manila. The two run-off weirs and intake structures of CHPP constructed along the Casecnan and Taan Rivers are in Peleway, Municipality of Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya.

PSALM is the agency mandated by EPIRA to handle the sale of the remaining state-power assets and the financial obligations of Napocor.

It reduces debts through the privatization of government-owned assets, collection of the proceeds and the effective implementation of its liability management program.

As of end-June, PSALM’s debts reached P367.9 billion compared to P381.91 billion at the start of the year.

This consists of outstanding debts amounting to P267.4 billion and IPP lease obligations of P100.5 billion.



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