SPC asks high court to review Naga case

SPC Power Corp., a listed power plant operator, asked the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling on the ownership of the 153.1-megawatt Naga power plant complex in Cebu.

SPC said it appealed the Oct. 26 ruling on the Naga power plant complex, “with an alternative motion to refer the matter to the en banc.”

The Supreme Court earlier upheld a decision that nullified the awarding of the Naga power plant complex to SPC and effectively recognized a unit of Aboitiz Power Corp. as the right winner for submitting the highest bid in 2014.

Aboitiz Power said the Supreme Court ordered the reinstatement of the notice of award dated April 30, 2014 in favor of subsidiary Therma Power Visayas Inc.

PSALM earlier awarded the power plant complex to SPC Power, because of the “right to top” provision in the agreement.  The complex consists of the 52.5-megawatt Cebu 1 and 56.8-MW Cebu 2 coal-fired thermal power plants, and the 43.8-MW Cebu diesel power plant 1 composed of six 7.3-MW bunker-C fed power units.

Therma Power Visayas emerged as the highest bidder with an offer of P1.09 billion in 2014, beating the P859-million offer of SPC Power, which was the existing operator then. PSALM allowed SPC to exercise its right  to top the offer of Therma Power Visayas.

Senator Sergio Osmeña III filed a case with the SC in 2014 seeking to stop the sale of the Naga power plant complex in Cebu to SPC Power and nullify the stipulation in the lease agreement.

The Supreme Court voided the PSALM-SPC lease agreement in January 2016 and upheld the decision in October.

SPC Power, however, said the high court’s decision was “grossly disadvantageous to the government” and “destabilizes the investment climate in the Philippines and retroactively changes the rules on competitive bidding.”

“With the Supreme Court’s ruling to reinstate the notice of award to Therma Power Visayas Inc., the government not only stands to lose P54 million but is deprived of a rebid of the Naga Power plant which would likely result in an even higher price for the government,” SPC Power said.

SPC said the court’s decision  to reinstate the award of the Naga facility to Therma Power Visayas was contrary to its earlier position that “public bidding is the better means to secure the best bid for the government.”

“We urge PSALM, chaired by the Finance Department, to file its own motion for reconsideration as clearly, the decision is disadvantageous to the government at a time when government needs much-needed funds for employment and other basic services,” SPC said.

Topics: SPC Power Corp. , Supreme Court , 153.1-megawatt Naga power plant
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