Contenders eye Philippines hydro plants

The Philippines’ privatization agency announced 13 prospective bidders each are considering purchase of two hydropower project packages totaling 472 MW.

Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is privatizing power plants of the debt-laden National Power Corp. (Napocor). Last October, it called for letters of interest from prospective bidders to purchase the 100-MW Pantabangan and 12-MW Masiway hydro projects as a package, and, in a separate tender, the 360-MW Magat hydro project.

PSALM said February 17 that Pantabangan-Masiway and Magat each received overtures from 13 potential bidders. It said one of the potential investors already won one of the five hydroelectric plants privatized in bidding in 2004.

PSALM said a total of 24 investor groups expressed interest in the four power plant packages currently being offered, Pantabangan-Masiway, Magat, the 600-MW Calaca coal-fired plant, and the Tiwi-Makban geothermal plant.

Hydro plants to be auctioned in 2006

PSALM Vice President Froilan A. Tampinco declined to name the prospective bidders due to confidentiality agreements, but said they include one from Australia, one from Europe, five from Asia, five from the United States, and 12 from the Philippines. Four are interested in Calaca and 15 in Tiwi-Makban.

Actual bidding for three of the packages is scheduled for the first half of 2006, while bidding for Magat is scheduled for the third quarter.

Pantabangan has two 50-MW units that were commissioned in 1977, while Masiway has a single 12-MW unit commissioned in 1980. Both are located at Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, on Luzon. Magat has four 90-MW units commissioned in 1983-1984 at Ramon, Isabella, Luzon.

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