SPC retorts: SC decision on Naga plant ‘not yet final’

by Myrna Velasco – January 15, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

SPC Power Corporation has reminded the Aboitiz Group that no final Supreme Court (SC) ruling has been rendered yet on the questioned mode of privatization of the 153-megawatt Naga thermal power facility.

SPC senior vice president Alfredo Ballesteros, in a statement to the media, has noted “we are asking for the Supreme Court’s reconsideration of its decision.”

It must be recalled that Aboitiz Power Corporation chief executive officer Erramon I. Aboitiz has sounded off to media their belief that they won in the asset’s bidding and that it should be awarded to them once final verdict from the high court is rendered.

SPC Power retorted though “the case questioning SPC’s right-to-top in the bidding for the Naga power plant complex is far from over.”

Ballesteros added “even the petitioner in the case, Senator Sergio Osmeña, is asking for a reconsideration, so this case still has a number of issues to be clarified.”

He similarly emphasized that “there’s even a question on what assets are included in the bid, but it is of course clear with all bidders that what is involved is the area of the Naga plant.”

SPC qualified that the leased premises for the Naga land-based gas turbines (LBGT) and the Naga plant are located in just one complex.

The ownership of the privatized Naga plant was turned over to SPC Power after exercising its right-to-top option as provided in the asset’s bidding terms.

The company said it has been leaning on the position of asset-seller Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) on “the rationale behind the right-to-top it imposed as a condition to the Naga sale.”

It stated PSALM’s stance that “SPC’s interests are not solely confined to the leased premises of the LBGT as there are co-use facilities used in common by both the owner of the Naga power plant and the owner of the Naga LBGT.”

Ballesteros stressed “merely awarding the plant to what is now the lower bidder would be disadvantageous to the government,” noting further that it is tantamount to changing the rules of the game.