Privatization of CBK hydro plant deferred


The government is delaying the privatization of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) to focus first on the sale of the Casecnan Multi-Purpose Project (CMPP).

Based on a report from The Philippine Star, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) was originally set to privatize the CBK HEPP first before Casecnan with the CMPP having a more complex ownership structure.

However, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Finance have agreed to go first with privatizing Casecnan instead.

Earlier this month, PSALM said it would procure an Operation and Maintenance Service Contract for the CMPP to ensure that the ownership of both its irrigation and 150-megawatt (MW) HEPP is turned over to the government by year’s end.

Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) mandates that the CMPP must be privatized by next year.

Meanwhile, the DOE, in the 37th EPIRA Implementation Status Report, said the privatization process for both the CBK HEPP and CMPP would begin this year.

As for the CBK HEPP, PSALM President and CEO Irene Garcia said the Asian Development Bank has completed the study on its privatization options, which covers the setting of the minimum bid price, among others.

Located in Laguna, CBK HEPP is currently under an independent power producer (IPP) administrator contract with CBK Power Co. Ltd. until February 7, 2026. The IPP administers the plant’s 797.92MW contracted capacity.

The CMPP, meanwhile, is a combined irrigation and power generation facility producing 165MW in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija. The CMPP’s runoff weirs and intake structures are built along the Casecnan and Taan Rivers in Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya.