POWER Sector Assets Liabilities and Management Corp. (PSALM) has named seven firms that have expressed interest in bidding for the operation and maintenance service contract (OMSC) of the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan hydroelectric power plant.

In a statement on Monday, the state-run entity said the prospective bidders that attended PSALM’s pre-bid conference for the facility on Sept. 24 are: SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc.; First Gen Hydro Power Corp.; KEPCO KPS Carabao Corp.; Soosan ENS Co., Ltd.; China Energy Engineering Group Heilongjiang Energy Engineering Co., Ltd.; Marine-Power Industry Asia-Pacific Corp.; and Atdinum Energy, Inc.

The pre-bid conference tackled the terms and conditions of the procurement. It also gave the prospective bidders a chance to clarify concerns and ask questions related to the bidding requirements.

Bids for Casecnan’s OMSC will open at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 12 through a hybrid arrangement where participants can attend the event at PSALM’s office or opt for a videoconferencing option. Late bids will not be accepted.

The contract for the hydro plant has a budget of P462 million, which will come from PSALM’s 2021 and 2022 corporate operating budgets.

The OMSC is scheduled to begin on Nov. 26, and will be effective for one year as the agency works on the facility’s privatization.

The contract’s target date will give the operator adequate time to familiarize itself with the power plant and allow it to mobilize its personnel for the actual operation and maintenance (O&M) beginning Dec. 12, according to PSALM.

“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 (CE Casecnan Water and Energy Co., Inc.) to the government on 11 Dec. 2021,” PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer Irene Joy J. Besido-Garcia said.

CEWEC currently operates the facility through an independent power producer build-operate-transfer deal with the National Irrigation Administration, which is set to expire on Dec. 11 this year.

Situated at Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, the Casecnan hydro plant is a combined irrigation and power generation project. Its two run-off weirs and intake structures are constructed along the Casecnan and Taan rivers in Nueva Vizcaya. — Angelica Y. Yang