The Philippine Competitive Commission (PCC) has given the go signal for the privatization of the 165-megawatt (MW) Casecnan hydroelectric power plant in Nueva Ecija (CHEPP) and the 796.46 MW Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydroelectric power plant.
In a report by Philippine Star, Fresh River Lakes Corporation, a subsidiary of First Gen Corporation, would now assume control over the CHEPP project from the state-controlled Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and the National Irrigation Administration.
In December of last year, PSALM initiated the bidding of the CBK HEPP, with Fresh River succeeding as it offered the highest bid of $526 million.
In the same month, the PCC Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) started the Phase 1 review for the proposed takeover of Fresh River to ascertain whether there are antitrust concerns that may emerge from the transaction.
Additionally, the MAO also figured that the volume being generated by the Casecnan plant holds no impact on the market. Should it create an impact, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) is there to uphold the competitive nature of the market.
The CHEPP, situated near Pantabangan and Munoz in Nueva Ecija, is a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant and is in the same area as the 132 MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric power plant operated by First Gen.
Under EPIRA, PSALM is ordered to privatize all assets as well as liquidate all financial obligations of the state-owned National Power Corporation.