PSALM confident of resolving plant specific issues

18 Feb 2008

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) expressed optimism that it would be able to immediately resolve specific issues facing the 75-megawatt (MW) Ambuklao facility and the 100-MW Binga plant to facilitate the transfer of these power facilities to their new owner.

PSALM is seeking the support and cooperation of particular government agencies and stakeholders in the power sector to assist in adequately resolving these concerns to be able to complete the turnover of the plants that the Corporation successfully bid out last year.

PSALM is working on securing the tenurial agreement for the Ambuklao and Binga package that was successfully bid out on 28 November 2007. PSALM believes the agreement will assure winning bidder SN Aboitiz Power Hydro Inc. that it can continue to use the land and the underlying facilities for power generation even after privatization.

Describing the conclusion of the tenurial agreement as the most critical condition precedent to closing the Ambuklao-Binga sale, PSALM is exerting utmost efforts to obtain the firm commitment of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Power Corp., and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in ensuring that the accord is forged for the completion of the sale expected on 25 June.

PSALM is requesting the DENR to facilitate the issuance of the tenurial agreement for Ambuklao and Binga, through the concerned Protected Areas Management Board's (PAMB) of these areas.

For its part, SN Aboitiz is expected to rehabilitate the Ambuklao plant to bring its generating capacity to 65 MW. It will also operate and maintain the dams and other appurtenant structures through the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Agreement.

PSALM requires the rehabilitation of the power plants to ensure that there is sufficient capacity in the Luzon Grid after the privatization of National Power's generation assets to efficiently address any supply shortage in the future. It is a paramount concern of PSALM to ensure that energy security is achieved while maximizing proceeds from the sale of power facilities to settle the maturing debts of National Power.

Strategic Communications and Partnership Division
Tel. No. (632) 9029067