PSALM chairman wants Agus-Pulangi rehabilitated before auction

PSALM chairman wants Agus-Pulangi rehabilitated before auction

The Agus and Pulangi hydroelectric power plants (HEPP) need to undergo rehabilitation before undergoing privatization, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said early this week.

Dominguez, who also chairs the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), said the agency is privatizing its assets to wipe out its debts.

Agus-Pulangi, Mindanao’s major power source, is prioritized for rehabilitation instead.

“Everything’s for sale except Agus,” Dominguez said.

The 928-megawatt HEPP currently only supplies 40 percent of its total capacity. It is Mindanao’s cheapest power source with rates at P2.70 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

“It’s operating only 40 percent of its total capacity so we think that if we use Chinese ODA (official development assistance) money—we submitted it to them—we will get it up to speed, use it as baseload for Mindanao and then probably look at some kind of privatization, but not selling it. Maybe privatizing the operations,” the secretary said.

In addition to its generating and scrap assets, PSALM has P5 billion worth of real estate that can be sold.

Its remaining generating assets are the Agus I, II, IV to VII and Pulangi HEPP in Mindanao, the Mindanao Coal-Fired Power Plant, the Malaya Thermal Power Plant in Rizal, and the decommissioned 850-MW Sucat Thermal Power Plant in Muntinlupa City.

PSALM’s scrap assets include the Bohol Diesel Power Plant in Tagbilaran, the Bohol and Aplaya Diesel Power Plant in Misamis Oriental, Cebu Diesel Power Plant II in Toledo City, Cebu, and the Palinpinon Geothermal Power Plant in Negros Oriental.

the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) mandates PSALM to handle the sale of Napocor’s remaining state-power assets and financial obligation.

*Photo from Shutterstock