SC awards Naga plant to Aboitiz Power

by Alena Mae S. Flores – February 15, 2017 at 08:06 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Supreme Court reinstated the notice of award to Aboitiz Power Corp.’s subsidiary Therma Power Visayas Inc. for the 153.1-megawatt Naga power plant complex in Naga, Cebu.

Aboitiz Power said in a disclosure to the stock exchange Wednesday it received the latest order from the high tribunal on the case field by former senator Sergio Osmeña III, who questioned SPC Power Corp.’s right to top the highest bidder.

“The notice of award dated April 30, 2014 in favor of Therma Power Visayas Inc. is hereby reinstated, excluding the portion therein granting to SPC the right to top,” the court’s third division said in a decision.

The court directed Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. to execute the Naga power plant complex asset purchase agreement and land lease agreement in favor of Therma Visayas “with dispatch.” PSALM is the government’s energy privatization body.

The Supreme Court denied with finality in November last year SPC’s urgent motion for reconsideration to raise to the en banc the court’s decision on the Naga power  project.

“In its notice of judgment dated Nov. 28, 2016, the Supreme Court denied SPC’s urgent motion with finality,” Aboitiz Power said earlier.

SPC filed an urgent motion for reconsideration, with alternative motion to refer its case to the Supreme Court en banc on Oct. 26, 2016.

SPC 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 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 Therma Power for submitting the highest bid.

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

Osmeña then filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking to enjoin PSALM from awarding the Naga plant on the grounds that SPC’s right to top was void.