PSALM secures approval for the commencement & timetable of the bidding process for the operations and maintenance contract for Casecnan hydro plant

11 Sep 2021

The Board Review Committee and the Board of Directors of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) approved on 07 September 2021 the authority of PSALM to undertake the public bidding for the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for the 165-megawatt Casecnan Multi-Purpose Project (CMPP).

PSALM was also authorized to immediately commence the said public bidding. The Invitation to Bid will be published on 16 September 2021. Interested parties may attend the pre-bid conference scheduled on 24 September 2021. The deadline to submit the bids and the opening & evaluation of the said bids are scheduled on 12 October 2021. The objective is for the contract for O&M to begin on 26 November 2021 to give the O&M operator sufficient lead time to familiarize itself with the operations of CMPP. This will also allow it to mobilize its personnel in preparation for the actual operation and maintenance beginning 11 December 2021.

“The procurement of an O&M operator will ensure the continuous operations of CMPP upon its turnover from the CE Casecnan Water and Energy Company, Inc., to the Government on 11 December 2021. The engagement of an O&M operator will not only ensure the generation of energy beyond 11 December 2021, but will also allow the continuation of the irrigation component of CMPP,” PSALM President and CEO Irene Besido-Garcia said.

Part of the procurement terms for the O&M is a set of water protocol that will guarantee that the irrigation component of the CMPP will continue. The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has been tasked to prepare the said water protocol. The farmers benefitting from the irrigation water sourced from the CMPP will not be adversely affected by the turnover of CE Casecnan of the CMPP to NIA and by the engagement of an O&M operator for the CMPP.

The ultimate plan is to pursue PSALM’s privatization of the CMPP in 2022, consistent with the clear instruction in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The irrigation component of the CMPP will continue even beyond its privatization because it is a “run-of-river” type of plant with very limited impounding area. This means that the water from the reservoir will continue to flow into the plant’s powerhouse, down to the Pantabangan lake and into the irrigation channels. NIA will continue its mandate of irrigating farmlands even if the CMPP is privatized by PSALM. Just like the water protocol that the O&M will have to adhere to, NIA will also draw up the water protocol that will become part of the terms of the privatization that will bind the new owner of the CMPP. The terms of the privation will ensure that the irrigation mandate is continued.

The CMPP is a combined irrigation and power generation project located at Sitio Pauan, Brgy. Villarica, Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija on the island of Luzon, about 150 km north of Manila. The two runoff weirs and intake structures of CMPP constructed along the Casecnan and Taan Rivers are located in Peleway, Municipality of Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya.

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