First Gen Corp. has set its sights on the 796-megawatt (MW) Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydroelectric power plants in Laguna to scale up its hydro power portfolio.
“We’re looking at it. We’re interested in CBK. We’re waiting. Usually, it get’s delayed like Casecnan. We were ready two years ago then the bidding was just held this year. We don’t know when it will happen but we’re interested,” said First Gen President Francis Giles Puno.
The CBK is among the assets that are scheduled to be privatized this year by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).
If and when the Lopez-led power firm wins the auction, the CBK will be added to its list of hydropower assets, namely, the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant, 120MW Aya pumped-storage hydroelectric power project, and the 1.6MW Agusan mini-hydro electric power plant. These hydro power assets form part of First Gen’s portfolio of power plants that run on clean and renewable energy sources.
Aside from these, First Gen also recently won the bidding for the 165MW Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija after it placed an offer of $526 million, higher than the $227.27-million prescribed minimum bid price for the hydropower asset.
The Casecnan asset could supplement the company’s Pantabangan-Masiway hydropower plant and its 20MW Aya pumped storage hydroelectric power project.
“Right now, when you look at Casecnan, fundamentally, it’s a very important asset for us because obviously we have Pantabangan-Masiway there; and we have plans for project Aya which is also there,” Puno had said.
First Gen’s winning bid is still undergoing post-qualification process.
“In the meantime, we are arranging for financing. The ball is in the court of the government now. We are ready for pay for the bid price of Casecnan. We are really excited to prove that this will be a feasible investment,” added Puno.
The Casecnan hydro power plant is a run-of-the-river type of power facility with limited impounding. It was transferred to the government after the conclusion of the build-operate-transfer agreement between the California Energy Casecnan Water and Energy Co. Inc. and the National Irrigation Administration in 2021.