PSALM to turn over Casecnan plant to Lopez in February


Government-regulated Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) will be turning over the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan hydroelectric power plant (CHEPP) to Fresh River Lakes Corporation, a part of the Lopez Group.

In a report by the Manila Standard, PSALM president Dennis de la Serna said that the corporation is only awaiting the approval of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), which was expected to be due this month.

PSALM had initially set its sights on handing over the facility to the Lopez Group in December of the past year.

It was announced in May of the previous year that Fresh River had won the bidding for CHEPP amounting to $526 million. 

CHEPP, located in Barangay Villarica, Pantabagan, Nueva Ecija, is a run-of-river power facility with a restricted impounding facility. It was among the select high-value power assets undergoing privatization by PSALM. 

Mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, PSALM is tasked with managing both the assets and liabilities of the National Power Corporation.

Earlier, First Gen Corporation secured a Php 20 billion loan agreement with local banks, BDO Unibank, Inc. (BDO), and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), to acquire CHEPP.