First Gen unit receives ‘notice of award” for Casecnan plant


Fresh River Lakes Corporation (FRLC), a subsidiary of First Gen Corporation, has been granted the “notice of award” following its winning bid for the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan Hydroelectric Power Plant (CHEPP). 

The energy firm has confirmed through a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has officially issued a notice of award, informing FRLC of their successful bid for the sale of the 165 MW power plant.

“Based on our thorough evaluation, we have determined that FRLC has met all the necessary requirements, including submitting the highest or most favorable bid,” PSALM President and Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Edward A. Dela Serna, said in a statement.

FRLC presented a total bid price of $526 million, marking the first successful divestment of a major power facility under the Marcos administration.

The Lopez company emphasized that as the winning bidder, FRLC is committed to meeting PSALM’s requirements for the closing process.

PSALM stated that it is expecting the financial closing of the privatized Casecnan power facility by the end of this year, and the proceeds from the sale will be allocated towards loans maturing next year.

The government is expected to generate higher revenue from the divestment as the prescribed minimum bid price for the power plant was set at $227.27 million.

The recent developments in First Gen Corporation are significant as it allows the company to expand its portfolio in the renewable energy (RE) sector.

First Gen President Francis Giles Puno emphasized that CHEPP is “an important asset”, as it complements two existing hydro assets, namely the Pantabagan-Masiway with a capacity of 132 MW and Aya pumped-storage hydro with a capacity of 120 MW. All of these assets are situated in Nueva Ecija.

Puno elaborated on the benefits of the Casecnan Hydro plant, stating that its upstream position allows for additional supply that can support the Pantabangan-Masiway and project Aya facilities. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for the company to expand its renewable energy (RE) portfolio. 

Construction for the Aya pumped-storage hydropower project is scheduled for the third quarter of this year. The project aims to provide ancillary services to the grid by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir for storage during periods of surplus electricity.

The 165 MW Casecnan plant is a run-of-river type of power facility with limited impounding located in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.