Gov’t to privatize hydro plants in Laguna

The government is readying the privatization of the 797.92 megawatts Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydropower plants in Laguna.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is looking at tapping a third-party consultant for the financial valuation of the CBK power plant, according to its latest accomplishment report.

PSALM has not yet set a timeline, although it previously targeted to privatize CBK this year.

The agency is also addressing the concerns of the Asian Development Bank in its study of the privatization of the hydro plants, such as provision for discount or refund if the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) finds that the CBK hydro plants hold a dominant market position after it is bid out.

The CBK plants can provide black start capability, frequency regulation, load following, spinning reserve, and other ancillary services which help stabilize the Luzon grid. It operates 24 hours every day, all year round.

In April 2005, two Japanese firms, Electric Power Development Co. Ltd (J-Power) and Sumitomo Corp., acquired from the original owners the CBK built, rehabilitate, operate, and transfer (BROT) agreement with National Power Corporation.

J-Power and Sumitomo are among Japan’s most prominent power players.