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Only 20% of govt power assets remain to be sold

THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) said only 20 percent of government-owned power assets, with about 1,600 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity, have yet to be privatized.

These include the 32-MW Power Barge (PB) 104 in Davao City; the 727-MW Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan  hydropower facility; the Agus hydropower plant; the Independent Power Producer Administrator (Ippa) contract for the Unified Leyte (UL) geothermal-power plant; the 210-MW Mindanao coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental; and the 140-MW Casecnan multipurpose hydroelectric power plant.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) is the agency mandated by Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act  of 2001, to handle the sale of the remaining state-power assets and financial obligations of the Napocor.

Psalm will also rebid the 850-MW Sucat thermal-power plant.

“Per estimates of the Psalm, the body created by Epira to dispose of the remaining power assets of the country, the government stands to earn about $3.2 billion from the sale, beginning with PB 104 in Davao this year, up to the Agus Pulangi plants in Mindanao by 2017,” the Napocor said.

The Napocor maintains these assets while awaiting privatization. The responsibility of operating and maintaining these undisposed assets is performed by two functional groups in Napocor-Mindanao Generations for Agus and Pulangi, while the PB is under the Resource Management Services.

So far, the biggest power facility sold by Psalm is the 218-MW Angat hydroelectric-power plant that was acquired by Korea Water Resources Corp. (K-Water) for P19.66 billion.

K-Water is set to start the retrofitting of Angat Dam and the power plant. Napocor, however, will continue to manage Angat Dam’s nonpower components, like the spillway, dam and watershed.

As of March 2015, proceeds from the sale of state-owned power assets reached $19.878 billion.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), actual collection stood at $9.266 billion as of end-October last year. This means that $10.612 billion has yet to be collected from the privatization of these assets.

Of the total amount collected, $3.534 billion came from power-generation assets sold; $3.772 billion from transmission assets; $1.956 billion from appointment of Ippa; and the rest from decommissioned plants.

Psalm has yet to receive the payment of $2.611 billion from the sale of transmission assets and $8.001 billion from proceeds of Ippa.

“The proceeds were utilized for debt repayment, regular payment of debts and independent power producer obligations, and payment of other privatization-related expenses,” the DOE reported.

In particular, $1.298 billion was used for debt prepayment; $4.466 billion for regular debt service; $2.027 billion for lease obligations; $107 million for other expenses; $1 million for Transco operational expenses; and $1.156 billion was placed in temporary investment.

In all, $7.8 billion was used for the liquidation of Psalm’s financial obligations.

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