• Privatization of PSALM on despite CEO suspension

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    THE privatization projects of state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation will push through despite the suspension of its president and chief executive officer (CEO).

    Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the privatization projects will not be affected at all by the 90-day preventive suspension of PSALM president and CEO Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr.

    “It will continue, the President and CEO was the only one suspended. So it will continue because the OIC has the same power as the president,” said Petilla referring to the privatization project of PSALM.

    With Ledesma’s suspension, Lourdes Alzona, vice president for finance, was appointed as officer-in-charge of the Office of the President of PSALM.

    Petilla, however, said the DOE recommended the suspension of the privatization of Mt. Apo 2 geothermal plant in Mindanao.

    The government is seeking a suitable independent power producer administrator (IPPA) for the Mindanao I and II (Mt. Apo 1 and 2) Geothermal Power Plants.

    “I don’t see any reason to delay the privatization projects except for the IPPA in Mindanao,” he said.

    The Energy chief said that it is important to delay the auction of Mt. Apo geothermal plants until such time power plants of Alsons or San Miguel are running.

    PSALM is a government corporation tasked to privatize power assets of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) that include plants and contracted capacities of independent power producers.

    Roughly 20 percent of Napocor’s assets are set to be privatized.

    The remaining assets up for privatization are the 32-MW power barge 104 in Davao and the bulk contract of the Unified Leyte.

    Unified Leyte is composed of the 125-MW Upper Mahiao, 232.5-MW Malitbog, 180-MW Mahanagdong and the 51-MW plants, all located in Leyte.

    PSALM is also set to sell this year the 210-MW Steag State Power Inc. coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental.

    Another asset up for privatization is the contracted capacity of the 140-MW Casecnan hydropower plant, which is part of the Casecnan Multipurpose Project, a combined irrigation and hydroelectric project of the government.

    For 2016, PSALM targets to sell the contracted capacity of the 728-MW Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydropower plant in Laguna.

    The CBK plant, a facility commissioned around 1942, is considered to be the first and oldest hydroelectric power plant in the country.

    PSALM will also privatize the 982-MW Agus-Pulangi hydropower plants in Mindanao in 2017.

    PSALM expects to raise $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion from unsold assets that are lined up for privatization up to 2017.

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