Transco wants ERC to reconsider denial of intervention in NGCP IPO

By Lenie Lectura – August 8, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE National Transmission Corp. (Transco) will ask the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to reconsider its earlier ruling denying the former’s bid to intervene in the petition for the approval of the IPO (initial public offering) extension filed by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

“We will file a motion for reconsideration. If ERC will not reconsider, we will appeal it all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Transco President Melvin Matibag in a text message.

The ERC earlier denied for lack of merit the joint petition for intervention filed by Transco and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM). At the same time, the ERC ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear and decide on NGCP’s petition.

“It is clear that RA 9511 and the Concession Agreement affirmed that neither PSALM nor Transco has the authority to regulate or supervise NGCP’s compliance with its franchise law, only this Commission.”

“Therefore, PSALM and TransCo has no direct and substantial interest in the instant petition, more so on its outcome, lacking one of the requirements of the Commission to grant their petition for intervention. Hence, the same should be denied,” stated the ERC order, signed by ERC commissioner Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit, the oversight committee for legal service head.

Matibag described as “erroneous” the ERC ruling, adding, “We will issue the statement after we file the motion for reconsideration.”

Separately, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said TransCo “will do what is necessary.”

“That hurts. NGCP should have gone public 10 years ago. But that’s beyond the DOE (Department of Energy). ERC is a quasi-judicial body so we have to go to court,” said the DOE chief.

Under the law, NGCP should make a public offering of the shares representing at least 20 percent of its outstanding capital stock within 10 years from the commencement of its operation, which was on January 15, 2009.

NGCP filed a petition for extension of the listing of the shares, and that motion is now pending with ERC.

The grid operator said the current market condition is not suitable for the listing and public offering of its shares because of the absence of the final determination of price control arrangements from the ERC for the 4th Regulatory Period (2016-2020); the pending disputes among NGCP, TransCo and PSALM which are now in arbitration; and the public threats made against NGCP’s concession, whether or not these are raised in arbitration.