Wednesday, December 28, 2016

PSALM mulls new scheme for sale of Agus-Pulangui

Published December 27, 2016, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco

If outright sale would not be an acceptable option, state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) is contemplating on having an alternative scheme for the privatization of the Agus-Pulangui hydropower complexes in Mindanao.
“There are several types of privatization models – it could be outright sale, it could just be the service component also; or corporatization,” PSALM Officer-in-Charge Lourdes S. Alzona said.
She noted the company “is currently understanding the details,” primarily of the privatization scheme that they would be proposing to the Department of Energy (DOE) and PSALM Board.
Among the privatization options the state-run firm has been studying is the one anchored on a pending Congressional bill, wherein the Agus-Pulangui assets shall be placed in a new government-run corporate entity – the proposed Mindanao Power Corporation.
Under that edict, the end-users of Mindanao will have total hold of the corporate vehicle and the cheaper-sourced electricity from the hydro plants will just flow to their benefit. The Agus complex has 727 megawatts installed capacity; while Pulangui is of 255MW capacity but both facilities already have de-rated generation since they first came on commercial stream.
Alzona said “our mandate is to dispose in three years all of the remaining assets, including the Agus-Pulangui plants.”
The “corporatization scheme,” in particular, may still place ownership of the assets under government; and only the operation and sale/trading of capacity that shall be bestowed unto the private sector’s charge.
The current government leadership is bent on completing the privatization mandate on the assets of the National Power Corporation (NPC) so it could partly raise the cash to retire PSALM’s whopping residual debts.
As previously indicated, the scale of unsettled PSALM obligations may still top P245 billion until the end of its corporate life in 2026. Corporate longevity extension is a policy matter that the Duterte administration had already thumbed down.

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