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Monday, February 26, 2024

Gov’t to turn over Casecnan hydro complex to Fresh River this month

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The government is preparing for the ceremonial turnover of the 165-megawatt Casecnan hydroelectric power plant (CHEPP) to Fresh River Lakes Corp. (FLRC) this month.

This followed the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC) approval of the sale by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to FLRC, a subsidiary of Lopez-led First Gen Corp. on Jan. 25, 2024.

The PCC cleared Fresh River’s takeover of the CHEPP, seeing that the transaction would not result in substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets.

PSALM issued its certificate of effectivity to FLRC on Jan. 31, 2024, following PCC’s clearance, which marked the CHEPP final transaction documents effective and binding among the parties composed of PSALM, NIA and FRLC.

“The parties are now preparing for the ceremonial turnover of the CHEPP on Feb. 26, 2024,” PSALM said.

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PSALM declared FRLC as the highest bidder on May 16, 2023, with its offer of $526 million during the public bidding.

PSALM plans to use proceeds from the privatization of the CHEPP to partially settle its debt.

The CHEPP, located in Pantabangan and Munoz, Nueva Ecija is a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant, which diverts water from the Casecnan and Taan Rivers through a 26-kilometer-long tunnel to generate energy.

It is one of the few large-ticket power assets being privatized by PSALM, which is mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to manage the assets and liabilities of National Power Corp.

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