By Lenie Lectura – August 21, 2017
from Business Mirror
The Department of Energy (DOE) is expected to inform the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Board of its preference on how best to privatize the 650-megawatt (MW) Malaya Thermal Power Plant Complex (MTPP).
“We are waiting for final wording of the final transaction documents. Our arrangement within the Board is to wait for the DOE until next month,” PSALM Officer in Charge Lourdes Alzona said.
She added the privatization of the power asset could still take place within the year. “We can start this year but the closing would take place next year. It will take months, probably up to six months, to finish the bidding,” Alzona said.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has been vocal of his intention to require the winning bidder of the power asset to convert it to an liquefied natural-gas (LNG) facility.
“The direction of the DOE is geared toward LNG, to require it to transform into base-load plant to augment the country’s capacity,” Alzona added.
A base-load power plant provides continuous supply of electricity throughout the year with some minimum power-generation requirement.
Cusi, when sought for comment, said the DOE wants to make sure that the power facility would be maximized after the sale. “What the DOE wants is to make sure there is really energy production. What we don’t want to happen is to bid it out, then the winning bidder would not operate it. We will be short of power. That is 600 MW,” Cusi added.
PSALM manages the assets and liabilities of the National Power Corp. as mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
PSALM has postponed the auction for the plant, which was supposed to be sold on March 30 to four interested bidders who earlier submitted letters of interest.
The four bidders are APT Global Inc., Phinma Energy Corp., Riverbend Consolidated Mining Corp. and the AC Energy Holdings Inc.
The Malaya plant was rehabilitated in 1995 by the Korea Electric Power Corp. under a 15-year rehabilitate-operate-manage-maintain agreement. It consists of a 300-MW unit with a once-through type boiler and a 350-MW unit fitted with a conventional boiler.