PSALM names 2 sites to privatize this year

By Lenie Lectura – August 9, 2018
from Business Mirror

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has identified two real-estate assets it intends privatize late this year or early-2019.

PSALM President Irene Joy Besido-Garcia said the agency is currently crafting a master plan on how best to optimize the 4-hectare National Power Corp. (NPC) complex in Quezon City and the 44-hectare property in Bagac, Bataan.

“We want to prioritize these two because they are very valuable pieces of property,” Garcia said. “We are doing a master planning of the Napocor property in Quezon City. Of course, we cannot privatize it instantly because there are offices within so we need to do a very careful master planning of the entire compound and the needs of the people using the current offices and then we have to decide on how to optimize the use of that land.

“That is why it is important to start off with a very efficient master planning of the entire compound. Once we have that, then we can do the privatization based on the outcome of the master planning,” she said. What it will do with the Bagac property is being studied by PSALM: whether to sell it outright or develop it via a joint venture with an interested private entity.

“We also need a master plan for the Bagac property of PSALM on how to best utilize and get optimal profits from that. We can’t say for now if it will be just a sale of land or through a joint venture. It will all depend on the outcome of the master plan,” Garcia said. Among others, the master plan will indicate the valuation of the assets and the mode of privatization.

“When you say privatization, there are different approaches. It can be such that we are really not selling it, but possibly a joint venture with a private entity where there is going to be profit sharing in the end. We have to study that because maybe we can get more benefit with a joint-venture arrangement against an ‘as is, where is’ sale of the land,” she explained.

PSALM has real-estate assets with an aggregate land area of 100,438,788 square meters (sq m), consisting of 6,150 lots located in various parts of the country. Around 60 percent of the total land area is located in Luzon, 39 percent in Mindanao and the remaining 1 percent in the Visayas.

Aside from the two assets, the state firm is also working on to privatize a property in Puerto Azul Resort, Cavite and the 20,975-sq-m site of the Manila Thermal Power Plant in Paco, Manila.

PSALM earlier raised plans to covert some of its real-estate assets into economic zones.

As of the end of June, PSALM’s remaining principal debt stood at P246.73 billion, while the remaining obligations under its independent power- producer contracts amounted to P202.7 billion.

PSALM successfully reduced the financial obligations by 64 percent to P449.4 billion. It is the agency mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 to handle the sale of the remaining state-power assets and the financial obligations of Napocor.

Since then, PSALM has already generated privatization proceeds from assets amounting to P918.5 billion.

Of this amount, PSALM had already collected P545.2 billion, while the balance is based on a payment schedule.