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O&M contractor to be selected for Casecnan, Philippines

The Philippines state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Man­agement Corporation (PSALM) has named seven companies that have expressed interest in bidding for the operation and maintenance service contract (OMSC) for the 165 MW Casecnan multipurpose plant in Pantabangan, in the province of Nueva Ecija on the island of Luzon, Philippines.

The state-run entity announced on 4 October that SN Aboitiz Power-Magat Inc, First Gen Hydro Power Corporation, KEPCO KPS Cara­bao Corpor­ation, Soosan ENS Company, Heilongjiang Energy Engineering Company, Marine-Power Industry Asia-Pacific Corp­oration, and Atdinum Energy Inc had all attended PSALM’s pre-bid conference for the project on 24 September.

A competitive auction for the OMSC is due to be held shortly. The OMSC is scheduled to begin on 26 November, and will be effective for one year until PSALM completes the plant’s privatization by the end of 2022. The contract’s target date will give the operator time to familiarize itself with the facility and to mobilize personnel for the actual operation and maintenance on 12 December. The operation of the plant will be turned over to the Government on 11 December by CalEnergy In­ternational, through its subsidiary CE Casecnan Water and Energy (CEWEC), following the expiry of its BOT concession contract with the National Irrigation Admini­stration (NIA). “The procurement of an O&M operator will ensure the continuous generation of energy as well as the uninterrupted irrigation service of the Casecnan Project upon Casec­nan’s turnover from CEWEC to the Government”, PSALM Presi­dent and CEO Irene Joy J. Besido-Garcia said recently. The contract for the hydro plant has a budget of P462 million (about US$ 9 million), which will come from PSALM’s 2021 and 2022 corporate operating budgets.

Casecnan began commercial op­er­ation in 2002. Its two runoff weirs and intake structures are constructed along the Casecnan and Taan rivers in Nueva Vizcaya. There is an existing PPA between NIA and PSALM, and it is stipulated that NIA will transfer 60 per cent of the ownership of the CMPP to PSALM by the end of the PPA. Following that process, the state-owned firm noted it will work on the terms of the privatization of the CMPP through public bidding, and the asset sale target will be next year. Besido-Garcia has emphasized that all proceeds from the successful privatization of the Casecnan plant will be divided by NIA and PSALM in accordance with their ownership interest in CMPP. The plant has been generating about 228 GWh/year for Luzon’s grid. The reservoir helps irrigate about 139 200 ha of farmlands in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan and Tarlac.