State energy assets holding firm Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has been cleared to start the auction for an operations and maintenance contract of the P28-billion Casecnan hydro plant in Nueva Ecija.
PSALM’s Review Committee and Board of Directors approved last 07 September 2021 PSALM’s authority to undertake the public bidding for the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) deal for the 165-megawatt Casecnan Multi-Purpose Project (CMPP).
The announcement came a few days after PSALM said it will proceed with the sale of the power plant.
PSALM was also authorized to immediately start the public bidding for the power plant.
The invitation to bid will be published on 16 September. A pre-bid conference was scheduled on 24 September while the deadline to submit the bids and its opening and evaluation are scheduled on 12 October.
Eventual privatization eyed
PSALM said the objective was for the contract for O&M to begin on 26 November 2021 to allow sufficient lead time for the contractor 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,” PSALM president and CEO Irene Besio-Garcia said.
“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,” Besido-Garcia added.
Part of the procurement terms for the O&M is a set of water agreements 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 benefiting 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, according to the PSALM chief.
“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,” Besio-Garcia noted.