FORT Pilar Energy, Inc. plans to build a “modern” energy facility in Pililla, Rizal where the Malaya thermal power plant is located, its top official said after the firm offered to buy the state asset for P3.12 billion.

“The Malaya plant further bolsters the growing energy asset portfolio of Fort Pilar Energy. Similar to our earlier investments, we envision a modern energy facility in the site to strengthen the power situation in Luzon,” the Chief Executive Officer of Fort Pilar Energy Joseph Omar A. Castillo said in a statement shared with reporters on Tuesday.

On Friday, state-led Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Corp. (PSALM) declared the company as the winner in the negotiated sale of the 650-megawatt (MW) plant.

Mr. Castillo said that the power plant is strategically located “since it lies at the heart of the Luzon grid.” His company’s offer for it exceeded the P1.84-billion minimum price set by PSALM.

Separately on Tuesday, PSALM said in a statement e-mailed to BusinessWorld that its technical working group is set to hold an evaluation of the winning negotiating party this week.

The group targets to present the post-qualification results to the privatization bids and awards committee by next week, PSALM said.

The sale of the Malaya plant was on an “as-is where is” basis, which included the 300-MW unit 1 and the 350-MW unit 2 as well as the underlying land.

PSALM said the results of the negotiation must undergo a post-qualification process to ensure that the winning bidder has met the financial and legal requirements.

In a past report, the Department of Energy said it costs around P1.2 billion a year to maintain the plant, prompting PSALM to pursue the negotiated sale. PSALM is mandated to sell state energy assets to settle maturing obligations it assumed from the National Power Corp. — Angelica Y. Yang