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PSALM assures continuous operations of Casecnan plant

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) gave assurance that the 165-megawatt Casecnan Multi-Purpose Project (CMPP) would continue operations in preparation for its privatization.

“We will ensure the continuous operations of the Casecnan plant with the main objective of energy generation for the Luzon grid as well as the irrigation of 35,000 hectares of agricultural lands in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac,” PSALM president and COO  Irene Besido-Garcia said at the project’s ceremonial turnover on Dec.7.

CCMP’s 20-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme between the CE Casecnan Water and Energy Co. Inc. and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) officially ceased on Dec. 11.

PSALM and NIA represent the government’s interest in the CMPP at 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

“They will take over and operate CMPP starting 11 December 2021 through a designated third-party operator that won the public bidding for the CMPP’s operation and maintenance,” the PSALM said.

After the post qualification process, Soosan ENS Co was designated as the operator of the CMPP.

In October,  PSALM declared Soosan as the lowest bidder during the evaluation of bids for the procurement of a one-year Operation and Maintenance Service Contract (OMSC) for the CMPP.

PSALM said it has contracted through a competitive bidding, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Philippines to work on the third-party valuation of the CMPP, which will become the basis for the minimum bid price when the plant is privatized.

“We will pursue a sound privatization structure that will ensure the best return for the government, but never compromising the main goal of ensuring continuous power generation and irrigation of the farmlands,” Garcia said.

The CMPP 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 located in Peleway, municipality of Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya.

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