South Korean firm Soosan ENS Co. Ltd. won the Operation and Maintenance Service Contract (OMSC) for the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan Hydroelectric Power Plant’s (CHPP) in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.
Soosan ENS submitted the lowest bid for the contract valued at Php253 million, 45% lower than the Php462 million set by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), which conducted the bidding.
Soosan ENS beat fellow Korean firm KEPCO KPS Philippines’ Php262 million and SN Aboitiz Power-Magat’s Php391 million bids.
Following the bidding, Soosan ENS would undergo the post-qualification process to ensure that the firm would indeed met all the financial and legal requirements. Should it pass the process, the company will be given sufficient lead time to familiarize itself with the CHPP’s operations before the contract begins on November 26.
“We are optimistic that with the successful public bidding for the Casecnan Plant’s operation and maintenance contract, PSALM can now proceed to prepare for the ultimate plan of privatizing the Casecnan Plant, consistent with the clear mandate in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA),” PSALM President and CEO Irene Besido-Garcia said in a statement.
The CHPP is covered by a build-operate-transfer agreement, which will end on December 11, after which the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will own 40% of the plant, while PSALM will own 60%. NIA, however, has allowed PSALM to handle the OMSC’s procurement and to start preparations for Casecnan’s privatization. Under the EPIRA or Republic Act 9136, Casecnan has to be privatized by next year.