by Alena Mae S. Flores – August 21, 2017 at 08:31 pm
The government will push through with the privatization of the 650-megawatt Malaya thermal power plant in Pililla, Rizal this year to ensure additional capacity in the Luzon grid.
“What DoE wants is to make sure that when we bid that, there is really energy production. If the winning bidder will not operate it, then we will be short of power. That is 600 MW. We want that to replace 600 MW because we are counting that as available capacity,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.
Cusi co-chairs the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., which is mandated to privatize the power assets of the government. PSALM scheduled the privatization of the Malaya facility this year.
“We are still waiting for the final wording of final transaction docs. Because there is a direction from DOE to [convert it] to LNG [liquefied natural gas], make it a baseload plant so that security of supply will not be affected,” PSALM officer-in-charge Lourdes Alzona said.
Alzona said the plan was to start the privatization process this year but the entire process including sale completion may take three to six months.
Cusi earlier proposed certain flexibilities in the planned conversion of the Malaya plant as a part of the privatization strategy.
Cusi said interested bidders should look at how the conversion would impact on power rates.
“We’re fuel technology neutral so it depends to the winning bidder’s effort to drive energy tariff down. It depends on proposals. It would be hard for us to lock in then the rates will go up [for LNG/gas],” Cusi said.
PSALM put on hold the bidding for the Malaya power project pending the issuance of the terms of reference on the department’s proposed conversion proposal.