PSALM to sell 10,000 hectares

by Alena Mae S. Flores, December 21, 2014
from Manila Standard

Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., the agency in charge of privatizing the government’s energy assets, plans to sell or lease 10,000 hectares of properties starting next year.

PSALM president and chief executive Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said in a statement state-run National Power Corp. had 100,438,788 square meters or 10,438 hectares of disposable land in its portfolio, which he said could further reduce the government’s energy sector debt.

He said PSALM aimed to start the privatization program for the real estate assets in 2015 after a board approval.

“The plan hopes to aid in the further reduction of PSALM’s residual debt, as well as help in the government’s energy security thrust and facilitate local and national development by identifying possible sites for future power facilities and/or new economic ventures,” Ledesma said.

He said Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, mandated PSALM to ensure the orderly privatization of government’s power and related disposable assets.

“Aside from the transmission business, power assets and independent power producer contracts which, for the past years, have been the focus of PSALM’s privatization activities, the real estate assets of PSALM are likewise a potential source of revenue for the liquidation of its financial obligations,” he said.

The project, “Strategic Plan for PSALM’s Real Estate Assets: Towards Debt Liquidation, Energy Security and Development,” categorizes PSALM’s various land and land holdings and provides possible approaches to maximizing their potentials, either through privatization or asset management.

Among the legally-feasible modes identified in the plan are through outright sale, lease and operation and management/maintenance by another person or entity.

The plan proposes to privatize real estate assets in the sites of decommissioned power plants, lands not related to power generation, lands under land lease agreements, which were previously offered for sale to new power plant owners or successor generating companies but remain unsold, lands adjacent to or near privatized power plants or IPP plants and lands adjacent to or near the remaining power plants and IPP plants of PSALM.

Ledesma, however, said inalienable lands would be excluded from the privatization program.

PSALM’s real estate assets consisted of 6,414 lots with an aggregate area of 102 million square meters, but the agency already sold nearly 2 million sq. m. to successor generating companies. It still had 6,160 lots covering 100,438,788 sq. m.

These included alienable and disposable (5,991 lots with a total area of 74,878,955 sq. m); inalienable (107 lots with a total area of 22,367,145 sq. m); and lands with ongoing titling documentation (62 lots with a total area of 3,192,687 sq. m).

About 60 percent (4,771 lots with a total area of 59,821,616 sqm) of the real estate assets are located in Luzon, 39 percent (1,284 lots with a total area of 39,260,003 sqm) in Mindanao and 39 percent (105 lots with a total area of 1,357,169 sqm) in the Visayas.

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