By Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano, Reporter

PSALM to auction off two power plants today

Posted on March 31, 2014

TWO STATE-OWNED power facilities are to be auctioned off by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) today, a top official said over the weekend.

Emmanuel R. Ledesma, PSALM president and chief executive officer, said the company is set to privatize the 153.1-megawatt (MW) Naga power plant complex and sell the disposable assets of the decommissioned 850-MW Sucat thermal plant.

“The Naga plant and Sucat assets will be bid out on Mar. 31. It will be done simultaneously,” Mr. Ledesma said in a text message.

The official said four local companies are expected to participate in the third round of bidding for the Naga complex located in Cebu.

Last month, Mr. Ledesma identified the prospective bidders who attended the pre-bid conference as AC Energy Holdings, Inc.; SPC Power Corp.; Therma Power Visayas, Inc.; and Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.

The first two auctions for the privatization of the Naga complex -- held in July and September last year -- both failed after only one bidder participated in both exercises.

The power facility is currently being handled by SPC under an operation and maintenance service contract.

The power plant complex consists of three power plants: the coal-fired Cebu thermal power plants 1 and 2, with installed capacities of 52.5 MW and 56.8 MW, respectively; and 43.8-MW Cebu diesel power plant, consisting of six 7.3-MW diesel-fed power units.

Meanwhile, the sale of the disposable assets of the Sucat plant was moved from an original schedule of March 12.

“Due to schedule constraints, the bidding for the Sucat plant assets was moved. We had to consider the availability of the members of the board in conducting a bidding,” Mr. Ledesma explained.

PSALM hopes that all the firms that participated in the pre-bid conference will show up at the auction, according to the official.

The company last January identified the six local and three foreign prospective bidders for the non-power generating assets of the Sucat plant.

The six Filipino companies were: Aluminum Recycling Specialist, Inc.; Bonapor Metal Contractor Services & General Merchandise; Genetron International Marketing; MZQ Trading; Sta. Clara International Corp.; and VPD Trading.

The foreign ones were: DDM Demontage BV from the Netherlands; Gagasan Steel, Inc. from Malaysia; and Sinolink International Enterprise Holdings Ltd. from China.

“While PSALM is selling the Sucat plant as a decommissioned power facility, we give equal importance to this bidding exercise, as PSALM judiciously strives to improve the government’s financial position through its privatization,” Mr. Ledesma said.

PSALM is selling all plant equipment, structures, auxiliaries and accessories of the Sucat plant located in Muntinlupa City.

The oil-fired plant was acquired by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) in November 1978. It is composed of one 150-MW unit, two 200-MW units, and a 300-MW unit.

The Sucat plant officially commenced commercial operations on Aug. 1, 1968 after the completion of unit 1. Units 2 to 4 went online after their construction over the three years ending 1972.

However, these facilities were decommissioned in January 2000 (units 1 and 4) and January 2002 (units 2 and 3) due to high operating costs.

Under the Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, PSALM is mandated to manage the privatization and maintenance of Napocor’s power generation assets, liabilities, contracted capacities, and disposable assets.