SPC Power seeking review of Naga plant decision

by Alena Mae S. Flores – January 13, 2016 at 11:15 pm

from Manila Standard

SPC Power Corp. said it will ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision on the sale of the 153.1-megawatt Naga power plant complex in Cebu.

SPC Power senior vice president Alfredo Ballesteros said in a statement while the company was willing to comply with the high tribunal’s ruling, a “no rebid” scenario would be disadvantageous to the government.

The court earlier nullified the right of SPC Power to top the highest bid which was stipulated in the agreement approved by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.

Senator Sergio Osmeña III filed a case with the Supreme Court in 2014, seeking to stop the sale of the Naga power plant complex in Cebu to SPC Power and nullify the stipulation in the lease agreement.

Ballesteros said the case questioning SPC’s right to top in the bidding for the Naga power plant complex was far from over.

“We are asking for the Supreme Court’s reconsideration of its decision,” he said.

“Even the petitioner in the case, Sen. Sergio Osmeña, is asking for a reconsideration, so this case still has a number of issues to be clarified,” he said.

Therma Visayas Inc., a unit of Aboitiz Power Corp., earlier said it should be awarded the contract after the Supreme Court invalidated the right to top condition imposed by PSALM.

“Merely awarding the plant to what is now the lower bidder would be disadvantageous to government. This is changing the rules of the game. All the interested parties to the bid were aware of the right to top, as a condition on the Naga sale. By participating in the bid, they recognized SPC’s right to top and cannot assert their right to win,” Ballesteros said.

“Of course, we will comply with the final decision of the court. But a no rebid scenario for the government would change the rules of the game. I’m sure all bidders for Naga considered the right to top in their bids, because the right was the primary condition in the bidding. It cannot simply be deleted,” Ballesteros said.

He said while there was a question on what assets were included in the bid, the bidders understood that what was involved was the area of the Naga plant.

“In fact the leased premises for the Naga land-based gas turbines and the Naga plant are located in just one complex. The bidding rules are specific in that regard,” Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros also said that PSALM was standing firm in the rationale behind the right to top it imposed as a condition to the Naga sale.

Ballesteros said “the proper way forward in case the right to top is omitted is to rebid the plant so that all bidders start from the same assumption and so that government may have an opportunity to recover the topped up price that SPC paid.”

Aboitiz Power chief executive Erramon Aboitiz earlier said that if the right to top was nullified, “then I think we won the bid.”

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