CASECNAN Irrigation and Power Generation Project Rizal, Nueva Ecija — RAMON FVELASQUEZ/ COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG

STATE-led Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) trimmed the number of qualified bidders for the government’s 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija to seven companies.

“We have recently gone through a qualification round. Out of the 14, we have seven qualified bidders,” Dennis Edward A. Dela Serna, PSALM president and chief executive officer, told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Electric Power Industry Forum 2023 on Monday.

Mr. Dela Serna said that PSALM has also moved the deadline for bids to May 16 from March 28. The initial deadline was previously set on Feb. 24.

“We deferred the sale or the bidding to May 16. We are still waiting for documents from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA),” he said, adding that the power plant is co-owned by NIA and PSALM at a 60:40 sharing.

“So because of that, we need approval for certain documents. In this particular sale, we are waiting for a water protocol from NIA,” Mr. Dela Serna said.

Data provided by PSALM identified the seven entities as First River Lakes Corp. of First Gen Corp.; Neptune Hydro, Inc. of the SN Aboitiz group; Global Hydro Power Corp. of Manila Electric Co. and Global Business Power Corp.; Panasia Energy, Inc.; the consortium of EEI Power Corp., Soonan ENS Co. Ltd., Soosan Industries Co., Ltd. and Mapalad Power Corp.; GigaAce 11, Inc.; and Belgrove Power Corp.

PSALM said that the other seven potential bidders either withdrew or were found non-compliant with documentary deliverable requirements or did not submit the requirements.

The seven that withdrew are Sta. Clara International Corp.; Pan Pacific Renewable Power Phils. Corp.; Semirara Mining and Power Corp.; Axia Power Holdings Philippines Corp.; Hansan Solar Corp.; San Roque Power Corp.; and Peakpoint, Inc.

PSALM is the agency tasked to privatize state power assets. It said earlier that the asset, which has a limited water impounding area, is being privatized on an “as is, where is” and cash basis.

Casecnan, which is a hydro plant with irrigation and power generation components, was turned over to the government in 2021 after the build-operate-transfer contract with the previous operator, Casecnan Water and Energy Co., Inc. expired on Dec. 11, 2021. — Ashley Erika O. Jose