By Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

Leyte geothermal capacity turned over to bidders Dec. 26

Posted on December 22, 2014

THE POWER Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is poised to turn over 200 megawatts (MW) of contracted capacity from the Unified Leyte geothermal power plant (ULGPP) next week.

Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr., PSALM president and chief executive officer, said this means the winning independent power producer administrators (IPPAs) can soon start earning from the sale of the plant’s privatized capacity.

“The effectivity and turnover of the ULGPP ‘strips of energy’ to the IPPAs is on Dec. 26,” he said in a text message last week.

PSALM auctioned off ULGPP’s contracted capacity in “strips” and “bulk” in November last year, with the state-run firm offering a total of 200 MW for strips of energy and the remaining capacity for the bulk energy.

Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy, Inc. (ULGEI); FDC Utilities, Inc.; Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.; and Aboitiz Energy Solutions, Inc. bagged the rights for the “strips of energy” with 40 MW each.

The other winning bidders are Good Friends Hydro Resources Corp. (for 20 MW); Vivant Energy Corp. (17 MW); and Waterfront Mactan Casino Hotel, Inc. (3 MW).

As IPPAs, these companies will have to manage the contracted output of the power plant, which could be traded on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

The turnover was delayed after the award because ULGPP was damaged by typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) when it cut through the Visayas last year.

The ULGPP complex -- which straddles Ormoc City and the municipality of Kananga -- is composed of the 125-MW Upper Mahiao plant; 232.5-MW Malitbog plant; 180-MW Mahanagdong plant; and 51-MW optimization plants.

The remaining capacity of the plant -- representing the bulk energy -- was supposed to be handed over to ULGEI but the company withdrew its bid, citing damage caused by the typhoon.

The ULGPP’s remaining capacity is targeted for another auction in the first quarter of next year.

PSALM was formed under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to assume ownership of and manage all National Power Corp.’s assets, liabilities, contracts with independent power producers, real estate and other disposable assets.

Apart from the remaining ULGPP capacity, PSALM also plans to auction off the IPPA of the 140-MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija next year.

Mr. Ledesma said last October that PSALM was already in the planning stage for the privatization but added that it could be done in the first quarter.