PSALM consults lawyers on power-barge bidding

THE Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is seeking opinion from government lawyers if it can proceed to conduct a negotiated bid for a power barge in Mindanao, a Psalm executive said.

“We are awaiting an opinion from the OGCC [Office of the Government Corporate Council]. We hope to hear from them soon. There’s been three failed bids already,” Psalm President Lourdes S. Alzona said.

Bidding for Power Barge 104 (PB 104) was declared a failure because bidders did not meet the reserve price for the asset, according to Psalm.

“There were only two bidders during the last bidding. But the letter of interest came from only one bidder. So, we are asking OGCC if we can enter into negotiation with them,” Alzona added. She did not provide further details.

Psalm’s last attempt to sell the 32-megawatt (MW) asset was in October two years ago. The two bidders back then were Trans Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. and SPC Island Power Corp.

The PB 104, which began operating in 1985, is moored in Davao City. It generates electricity from thermal sources and operates as a subsidiary of the National Power Corp.

Psalm was earlier allowed to enter into a negotiate bid for PB 101 to PB 103 after securing the green light from government lawyers.

Back then, SPC was declared as the highest bidder for the three power barges but later withdrew its bid, citing damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda to PB 103.

The three power barges were sold as one package.

Psalm then negotiated with Trans Asia, which submitted a lower bid next to SPC, to conclude the privatization process for the three power barges. PB 101 and PB 102 were commissioned in 1981. These are in Barrio Obrero, Iloilo City. PB 103, meanwhile, began operating in 1985. It is in Estancia, Iloilo City.

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