Politics

Casecnan hydro pre-bid meet draws 13 potential buyers

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LOMBARDI

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said 13 potential bidders attended the pre-bid conference for the auction of the Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija.

Lorenzo Deona, corporate staff analyst A at PSALM, told BusinessWorld by phone that 13 potential bidders attended the conference, but did not identify them nor provide further details.

In a statement on Wednesday, PSALM said the conference was called to gauge the acceptability of the terms of sale for Casecnan, a 165-megawatt hydropower plant.

PSALM said the asset is being privatized on an “as is, where is” basis. The deadline for the submission of bids is Feb. 24.

In its invitation to bid, PSALM required interested parties to submit a letter of interest to PSALM’s privatization bids and awards committee not later than Nov. 18. It noted that only those who submit letters would be allowed to participate in the privatization exercise.

PSALM said that bidders are also required to pay a non-refundable participation fee of P160,000.

The Casecnan hydro plant is a combined irrigation and power generation project. The water from its reservoir flows into the irrigation channels of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

The NIA will continue to take irrigation water from Cancan even after it is privatized.

Casecnan was turned over to the government last year 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