4 prospective bidders in new round of auction for Malaya thermal plant

By Myrna M. Velasco

In its second round of bidding this year, four investor-groups have signified interest to join the sale process for the 650-megawatt Malaya thermal power facility in Rizal province.

Irene Joy Besido-Garcia PSALM President Irene Joy B. Garcia

In the pre-bid conference slated by asset-seller Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) last Thursday (October 24), the prospective bidders that turned up had been Panasia Energy, Inc., Phinma Energy Corporation; Therma Central Visayas, Inc. and Hill Trench Power, Inc.

PSALM said all interested parties have “sent their representatives to the pre-bid conference.” That phase in the facility’s divestment process sets a venue for the interested bidders to raise questions that they may have relating to the asset sale.

As noted by PSALM President and CEO Irene Besido-Garcia, the conduct of a pre-bid conference “is integral to ensuring that the bidders can eventually submit bids and documents that are responsive to technical requirements of PSALM.”

Some of the interested parties hinted that the value they have been factoring in for the facility disposal will be the site of the Malaya plant – which they deem could be ideal for real property development or as a prospective site for other power plant developments, including solar farm installation.

Since this is already the second round of bidding for this particular asset, PSALM can already proceed with a “negotiated sale” if the divestment process would still fail.

The Malaya plant is currently being relied upon as must-run unit (MRU) in the Luzon grid, but after its privatization, it will already stop serving this function in the country’s electricity system.

“In the event of a failure of bidding because there is only one bid received, the PBAC (privatization, bids and awards committee) will declare a failure of the second round of bidding,” PSALM said.

It stressed that “negotiation with the lone bidder will immediately commence,” in accordance with the approved terms of reference of the asset’s divestment.
The last day of submission of documentary receivables will be November 7 at 5 p.m.; while submission of bids will be on November 22 at 12 noon.

“PSALM will the check the completeness of the submitted documents and announce the prequalified bidders,” the company said; while also emphasizing that “prior to the bid submission deadline, the PSALM Board and the recommendation of the PBAC, will meet to determine the reserve price for the plant and its underlying land.”