Aboitiz subsidiary takes over Naga power plant in Cebu

By Lenie Lectura – July 16, 2018
from Business Mirror

THERMA Power Visayas Inc. (TPVI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., has officially taken over the Naga Power Plant Complex (NPPC) in Cebu.

The power facility, which was once the subject of a legal dispute, was physically turned over and accepted by TPVI on Monday.

“Our team has taken possession of the power plant complex and are now assessing the facility in preparation for maintenance and rehabilitation works. We are also conducting an inventory of the assets on site,” TPVI Chief Operating Officer Celso Caballero said.

TPVI received last May the Certificate of Effectivity (COE) from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) initiating the purchase of the facility.

PSALM is the entity created by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to privatize government-owned power assets.

“We would like to thank PSALM for their assistance in guiding us through this turnover process and we look forward to our partnership with the local government of Naga,” added Caballero.

The COE implements the September 28, 2015, decision of the Supreme Court (SC), which upheld the April 30, 2014, award of the facility to TPVI.

The Naga Power Plant Complex is composed of diesel and coal power plants with a combined capacity of 153.1 megawatts (MW).

SPC Power Corp. earlier acquired the 55-MW Naga land-based gas turbine power plant in Colon, Naga, in 2009. SPC, in the same year, entered into a land lease agreement with the PSALM, which included SPC’s right to top the price of a winning bidder for the sale of any property in the vicinity of the leased premises.

PSALM subsequently bid out the 153.1-MW Naga power plants located in the leased premises and on April 30, 2014, and after two failed biddings, the agency issued a notice of award to TPVI for submitting the highest bid.

TPVI offered a bid of P1.088 billion but SPC exercised its right to top and match the bid with an additional P54 million or a total of P1.143 billion.  PSALM then awarded the contract to SPC, despite TPVI’s objections.

A petition with the SC was then filed seeking to enjoin PSALM from awarding the Naga plant on the grounds that SPC’s right to top was void. The SC reinstated the notice of award to TPVI.

SPC said Monday that the parties executed the Joint Turn-Over Certificate last July 13. Thus, SPC turned-over the Naga Power Plant to PSALM while PSALM returned the bid of SPC.