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Saturday, May 25, 2024

First Gen eyes CBK hydropower plants

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First Gen Corp. expressed interest in the privatization of the 797.92-megawatt Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydropower plants by 2024 after successfully winning the 165-megawatt Casecnan hydroelectric power plant.

“We’re looking at it. We’re interested in CBK, but we’re waiting because it gets delayed. Like Casecnan, we were ready two years ago, then bidding was only this year. So we don’t know when CBK will happen, but we’re interested,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno said.

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. announced plans to issue the invitation to bid for the CBK hydropower plants by December, with the bidding set in June or July 2024.

The CBK hydro facility consists of the 22.6-megawatt Caliraya in Lumban, the 20.8-MW Botocan in Majayjay and the 684.6-MW Kalayaan I and II in Kalayaan, Laguna. J-Power and Sumitomo Corp. of Japan operate the CBK power plants.

PSALM is the agency tasked under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to manage the assets and liabilities of National Power Corp.

Meanwhile, Puno said they were waiting for government approvals, including the Philippine Competition Commission, on the sale of Casecnan.

“The ball is in the court of the government. In the meantime, we are arranging financing,” he said, adding that First Gen was looking at local banks to finance the acquisition.

First Gen subsidiary Fresh River Lakes Corp. offered the highest bid of $526 million for the Casecnan hydro plant.

PSALM is set to turn over the plant to the Lopez Group at the end of the year after issuing the notice of award to Fresh River in May.

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