AC Energy among 5 groups eyeing negotiated sale of Malaya plant

Malaya Thermal Plant can be privatized this year – DOE

Ayala-led AC Energy is one of five companies looking to purchase the 650-megawatt (MW) Malaya Thermal Power Plant (MTPP) via a negotiated sale.

The government, through the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), is selling the MTPP through the third-round of negotiated sale after reducing its minimum bid price to Php1.85 billion from Php2.01 billion offered previously.

Other bidders include China Gezhouba Group. Co. Ltd., Fort Pilar Energy Inc., Sta. Clara International Corporation, and VBB Trucking Trading and Consultancy Services Inc.

“PSALM looks forward to a successful privatization process for the Malaya Power Plant. We are excited that five firms expressed interest to join the process. We have lowered the minimum offer price already. Hopefully, this round will allow us to finally sell the Malaya Power Plant,” PSALM President and CEO Irene Besido-Garcia said in a statement.  

PSALM will hold a pre-negotiation conference for the interested buyers on Wednesday to discuss the issues and concerns on the terms of the sale. The deadline for the offer admission is on April 23. PSALM said interested parties that submitted a letter of interest would be allowed to join the negotiated sale process. 

Last year, AC Energy, one of the pre-qualified bidders, declined to submit an for Malaya’s third round of bidding which priced the power plant at Php2.19 billion, 51% less than the Php4.48 billion price during the previous round of bidding in November 2019. 

The MTPP is located close to the site of AC Energy’s 150MW diesel power plant project in Pililla, Rizal. Both sites sit along the shores of the Laguna De Bay. 

In October last year, the negotiated sale process for the privatization of the plant failed to receive formal bids during the pre-negotiation process because the investor interest was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The privatization of the plant has been among the longest asset divestment exercises carried by PSALM, which is mandated to liquidate the former power generating assets of the National Power Corporation under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

The Department of Energy (DOE) said the government loses Php1.2 billion annually from maintaining the plant. The DOE also designated the Malaya plant as a must-run unit in 2014.