MANILA, Philippines--A dozen prospective investors have expressed interest in acquiring the 246-megawatt (MW) Angat hydroelectric power plant in Bulacan, according to the state-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Corp.
PSALM said the companies, which attended the recent pre-bidding conference, were able to discuss the sale structure of the Angat facility. The conference gave the participants an opportunity to clarify their respective issues and concerns on the bidding procedures.
During the open forum, PSALM president Jose C. Ibazeta stressed anew that despite the privatization of the Angat power facility, the use of water from the Angat Dam for domestic purposes and irrigation would remain the priority over power generation as stipulated in the law and in the bidding provisions for the Angat facility.
This priority was also explained and emphasized in last week?s forum for the privatization of the Angat complex where PSALM provided a broader perspective of the structure and pertinent provisions of the sale of the power facility.
The 41-year-old Angat dam provides about 95 percent of Metro Manila?s water requirements, benefiting some 15 million customers.
The bidding for the Angat power plant is scheduled on April 28. It was reported that among the groups considering the facility included diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp., Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., SN Power of Norway and the Lopez-led First Gen Corp.
During last week?s forum, concessionaires Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. expressed ?concern and fear? that unless a clear water protocol has been established, Metro Manila?s water supply might be put at risk with the privatization of the Angat plant.
Speaking in behalf of the two concessionaires, Manila Water president Rene Almendras explained that discussions on a water protocol should first be finalized before the asset is bid out.
?Why? Because the bidders themselves will know exactly how much water they will have and what they can use to produce electricity. Otherwise, they will be blindly bidding. I would worry if somebody will bid and say ?yes I can produce that 218 MW,?? he said during the forum.
The water protocol would, among others, indicate the strict allocation of water for various uses?for domestic use or drinking water to be supplied to Metro Manila, for irrigation, and for power generation.
?The water in the Angat dam may run out if you will produce 218 MW continuously. I believe there is a scientific calculation that will support my concern that the volume of water you need to release to produce 218 MW constantly and definitely will make sure there is no more water at the dam,? Almendras explained.