Plunder rap filed by San Miguel baseless, say firms
THE COMPANIES operating the Sual Power Plant on Sunday described as “baseless and without merit” the plunder case filed against them and the head of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) by San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC) over an allegedly anomalous deal that resulted in government losses of P14 billion.
“We are shocked and perplexed by the reported charges brought against our companies, Team Sual Corp. (TSC) and Team (Philippines) Energy Corp. (TPEC). These charges are baseless and without any merit,” Toshiro Kume, Team Energy Corp. officer in charge and chief finance officer, said in a statement.
“We are confident that after a full appreciation of the facts, we will be able to clear the name of our organization, and of our officials who were unfairly and unjustly dragged into this nonissue,” he said.
In the case it filed in the Department of Justice, SMEC claimed there was an illegal grant of the so-called “excess capacity” of the two-unit Sual Power Plant to TPEC, which enabled it to receive around P17.3 billion at the expense of the government and SMEC.
The plunder case, filed on Oct. 21 by SMEC general manager Elenita Go, named as respondents PSALM president and chief executive officer Lourdes Alzona, TPEC president Suguru Tsuzaki, Team Sual Corp. executive vice president Koichi Tamura, and several John and Jane Does.
SMEC said that while it was appointed independent power producer administrator (Ippa) of the plant in 2009, it could not get its net contracted capacity of 500 megawatts per unit because TPEC’s 100-MW nominal capacity was given priority under an earlier memorandum of agreement (MOA) entered into by PSALM with TPEC and TSC.
Contracted to Napocor
Kume, on the other hand, said the power plant was designed to produce a net capacity of 1,200 MW and only 1,000 MW had been contracted to the National Power Corp. (Napocor) under the energy conversion agreement dated May 20, 1994.
Under the agreement, TSC would be paid by Napocor for the 1,000-MW contracted capacity only and TSC owned the 200-MW excess capacity.
“Contrary to the assertions of SMEC, the 200-MW excess capacity already existed when the plant was built in 1999. TSC and TPEC had various agreements with the government regarding the excess capacity and such excess capacity had been sold to various customers for the past 16 years. Obviously, this was the case even prior to the appointment of SMEC as Ippa in 2009,” Kume said.
He said the MOA being questioned by SMEC was entered into by PSALM, TSC and TPEC on June 18, 2009, prior to the appointment of SMEC as Ippa of the 1,000-MW contracted capacity of Napocor.
“The MOA is legal and aboveboard. This went through the regular approval process of the respective boards of [Napocor] and PSALM—composed of the secretaries of finance, energy, budget, trade, interior, agriculture and environment and [the head of the] National Economic and Development Authority,” Kume said.
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