By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 6, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – After much delay, the Department of Energy (DOE) finally awarded renewable energy (RE) contracts for eight hydropower sites and two geothermal areas auctioned under the second open and competitive selection process (OCSP 2).
Based on DOE evaluation, six companies bagged eight hydropower sites while two companies were named winners for two geothermal areas.
In a text message, DOE Renewable Energy Management Bureau director Mario Marasigan said service contracts were already awarded to the winning bidders.
First Gen Mindanao Hydropower Corp. of the Lopez Group won the most contracts, namely Area 4 Binongan-Tineg in Abra, Area 15 Cateel in Davao Oriental and Area 16 Cagayan 1N in Cagayan de Oro.
Cebu-based Vivant Energy Corp. bagged two RE service contracts, namely Area 12 Tubig and Area 13 Buhid, both in Eastern Samar.
Area 7 Ilog in Mabinay, Negros Oriental was awarded to Trans-Asia Oil & Energy Development Corp., now called Phinma Energy Corp.
Clean N Energy Solution Inc. won the contract for Area 14 Bugtong in Samar while Marano Energy Corp. was declared winner for Area 17 Agus III in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
For geothermal projects, Repower Energy Development Corp. was the winning bidder for Area 2 in Southern Leyte and Energy Development Corp. for Area 3 Amacan in Compostela Valley.
In February 2015, the DOE offered 21 RE sites under OCSP 2, four of which are geothermal sites with aggregate potential capacity of up to 134 megawatts (MW) and 17 are hydropower sites with capacity of up to 733.4 MW.
The agency only received eight offers for two geothermal concession areas and 31 proposals for 14 hydropower deals in May the same year.
The other hydropower sites with offers were declared failure of OCSP 2 as bids did not qualify, which are Area 1 Madongan 1, Area 2 Madongan 2 and Area 3 Solsona in Ilocos Norte; Area 8 Binalbagan 1, Area 9 Binalbagan 2, Area 10 Binulog all in Negros Occcidental.
The DOE has also declared failure for three hydropower projects and two other geothermal sites, which had no bid proposals.
The hydropower sites are Area 5 Sinambalan 1 in Occidental Mindoro, Area 6 Pagbalan 1 and Area 11 Hilabangan 3 in Negros Occidental. For geothermal, these are Area 1 Acupan-Itogon in Benguet and Area 3 Balut Island in Davao Occidental.
The DOE said these sites would be opened for “direct negotiation subject to the compliance of regulatory requirements.”
Under the service contracts, the winning bidders will have two years for pre-development for less than 50 MW and five years for at least 50 MW.
It also covers a 25-year development stage, which can be renewed for another 25 years.
Winning bidders will also benefit from perks under RA 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, such as a seven-year income tax holiday (ITH), reduced corporate tax rate of 10 percent after ITH expires, and duty-free importation for 10 years of equipment, machinery, spare parts and materials directly, actually and exclusive used for hydropower or geothermal operation.