BIKTIMA NG CHISMIS? $6.19-B debts to PSALM are paid, SMC says

Luzon faces thin power supply amid Malampaya shutdown

The San Miguel Energy Corporation subsidiary South Premier Power Corp. (SPPC) has claimed that they already paid its $6.19 billion debt to state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) as of end-April this year.

The said debt was for the 1,200 megawatt Ilijan gas-fired power plant.

SPPC released a statement to contest the unpaid P19.5 billion reported by PSALM to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.

“It is unfortunate that PSALM has to resort again to misinformation while the case is pending in Court,” SPPC President Ramon S. Ang told Manila Bulletin reporters.

An injunction was also issued by a regional trial court after SPPC’s filing of a case saying that it is “willful breach of contract” by PSALM when it ceased Ilijan plant’s trading activities due to the different interpretations of both parties regarding how generation payments should be computed on the delivered capacity of the facility.

“While it is inappropriate for us to comment on the issue, we take this matter seriously and we cannot allow damaging statements like this to hurt our reputation and our stakeholders,” Ang stressed.

Due to the legal battle, transfer of ownership is still not clear how it will be enforced for the next three years. The build-operate-transfer (BOT) for the Ilijan plant will stop in 2022.

However, SPPC said that by the end of their contract for Ilijan plant the company’s total payments would be around P390.6 billion; P293.01 billion in energy fees and P97.60 billion in capacity fees.

“The amount paid for capacity fees alone, which is equivalent to about $2 billion, is already enough to pay for the 20-year old power plant,” the company emphasized.

“A brand new plant with the same capacity could be built for so much less,” San Miguel energy firm said.

SPPC also added that it has been reimburning PSALM to operate and maintain the said plant.

“Given these, SPPC is paying PSALM more than what it is paying the IPP counterparty for the Ilijan plant,” adding that “PSALM is in fact net cash positive from its administration agreement with SPPC,” it expounded.

PSALM has already earned P34.75 billion from its IPPA deal for the Ilijan plant as of end of April this year, said SPPC.




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