PSALM set to continue supplying power to Mindanao while privatizing NPC assets

by Lenie LecturaJune 23, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said on Thursday it would continue to supply power in Mindanao while it performs its mandate to privatize the remaining assets of the National Power Corp. (NPC).

“We will continue to service our customers while in the process of completing the privatization program. In fact, the entire dependable capacity of PSALM’s remaining plants in Mindanao is allocated to them,” PSALM Officer in Charge Lourdes Alzona said.

Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, PSALM is the government agency tasked to manage state-owned power assets and to repay NPC’s debt.

PSALM’s existing power contracts in Mindanao cover 49 customers in the region, requiring a total of 6,648-megawatts energy capacity.

Majority of power customers in Mindanao composed of electric cooperatives (ECs), private utilities, industries and government agencies obtain their power requirements from PSALM.

Currently, PSALM sources energy from its remaining generating assets: Agus 1, 2, 4 to 7 and Pulangi hydroelectric power plants and from independent power producer plant, namely, Mindanao coal-fired power plant.

In 2015 PSALM delivered a total of 5,762.07 gigawatt hours to 48 power customers in Mindanao, 28 of which were prompt payers. This grossed to P16.24 billion in power sales, with total discounts extended by PSALM reaching P370 million.

PSALM allows prompt payers to enjoy 3-percent outright discount on their monthly bills to encourage other customers to observe early payments.

PSALM offers a restructuring program to assist power customers experiencing financial difficulties by offering a gradual-payment scheme to settle their unpaid power bills, including their overdue obligations, to avoid disconnection from the grid.

Despite delayed payments attributed to many factors, PSALM keeps supplying the energy requirements of these customers, Alzona said.

“Imbued with social responsibility, our mandate is to help energize, particularly the underserved franchise areas of electric cooperatives, despite their ballooning unpaid power bills and overdue obligations,” Alzona added.

PSALM also regularly conducts customer forum in Mindanao to address specific concerns of the power customers, to improve collection efficiency in the area, and to present the latest developments in the power industry.