Philippines prepares for next power plant privatizations

The Philippines said March 15 it would continue its power plant privatization program July 26 with the auction of the 600-MW Masinloc coal plant. Finance Secretary Gary Teves cited the success of 2006 hydro privatizations that earned US$659 million.

Masinloc is among dozens of power assets being sold by the government to raise between US$4 billion and US$5 billion as part of a wider power and fiscal sector reform.

�We continue to enjoy healthy and mutually respectful relationships with our investors, all of whom have indicated their confidence in the integrity and transparency of our process,� said Teves, who also is chairman of the privatization agency, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

In 2006, PSALM auctioned the 112-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydropower complex in Nueva Ecija and the 360-MW Magat hydro plant in Isabela. Pantabangan and Masiway were turned over to winning bidder First Gen Corp. in November, while preparations are ongoing to transfer Magat to winning bidder SN Aboitiz Power. (HNN 12/20/06)

First Gen to pursue more hydro privatizations, development

In a financial presentation this month, First Gen officials said the independent power producer plans to participate in additional privatization auctions, bidding for the 75-MW Ambuklao and 100-MW Binga hydro complex in Benguet, the 246-MW Angat hydro plant in Bulacan, and geothermal and coal plants.

In addition to winning Pantabangan-Masiway, First Gen won the privatization auction of the 1.6-MW Agusan hydro project in 2004.

First Gen said it also is studying development of 12 new hydro projects totaling up to 170 MW on the islands of Panay and Mindanao. To begin operation in 2011-2012, the run-of-river mini-hydro projects would be located at Panay, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Agusan del Norte, the developer said.

First Gen said it already is carrying out a US$100 million expansion program of Pantabangan-Masiway that it announced late last year. When complete, the two plants’ 112-MW capacity will be increased by another 109 MW.

The 100-MW Pantabangan is to be increased 30 MW by an upgrade program and another 65 MW by an expansion to a total 195 MW, while 12-MW Masiway will be increased 1 MW by upgrade and another 13 MW by expansion to a total 26 MW. The grand total of capacity at the complex is to be 221 MW.

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