Published By Myrna M. Velasco
Asset-seller firm Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) is still in the process of assessing the technical and financial requirements it shall be enforcing for the impending turnover of the 153.1-megawatt Naga thermal power facility in Cebu to Therma Visayas Power Inc. (TVPI) of the Aboitiz Group.
According to PSALM Officer-in-Charge Lourdes S. Alzona, these are the discussion points they still have at management level relating to the asset’s divestment – in relation to an order of the Supreme Court to have it awarded to the winning bidder, minus the rght-to-top provision in the auction terms.
“PSALM is looking into the technical and financial requirements for turnover and we’ll eventually be getting Board approval for the reinstatement of the notice of award to TVPI as ordered by the Supreme Court,” Alzona noted.
At this stage though, she indicated that they are still legally hurdled from undertaking the asset turnover because of the latest motion for reconsideration lodged by SPC Power Corporation, the party that has been given the right-to-top in the sale process for the asset.
“We are awaiting SC resolution of the last motion for reconsideration filed by SPC Power prior to turnover of the complex to TVPI,” she said.
The revert of the Naga plant’s award to TVPI was ordered by the high court following the filing of a case by former Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sergio Osmeña III questioning the “right-to-top” proviso in the bidding terms of the facility’s privatization.
The “right-to-top” condition had effectively given SPC Power the leverage to match and surpass by 5.0 percent the winning offer set for the asset at its auction.
That then added P54 million to the purchase offer of the Naga facility, or P1.143 billion compared to the P1.088-billion winning bid of the Aboitiz Group.
Following the legal complications on this asset’s divestment, PSALM has previously apprised media that the payment for the asset is still “untouched,” and placed in a special account labeled as “restricted.”