Mindanao electric coops to pool resources to acquire of hydro plant PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 March 2015 14:02

The 8,000 electric cooperatives in Mindanao strengthened their position to bid for the acquisition of the Agus-Pulangi complex which would roughly amount to $1 billion excluding rehabilitation of the facility currently managed by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) and the National Power Corporation (Napocor).

Ronald Conquilla, division manager of PSALM’s Corporate Planning Department, said the Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant, which will be auctioned by PSALM in 2017, will require huge investment. He said bidders may pay 40 percent of the total amount and the 60 percent will be paid by installment.

If the cooperatives, as one entity, will succeed in the bidding, they will assume responsibility in the rehabilitation of the whole complex and all other activities.

PSALM is the government corporation tasked to privatize state-owned power assets previously owned by the National Power Corp. (NPC). The Agus-Pulangi complex has a combined capacity of 982 megawatts (MW) and supplies more than 50 percent of the total electricity requirements of Mindanao.

Conquilla said managing the plant is a profitable business especially that co-owners only need water to run the plant. Conquilla said PSALM also plans to privatize the 32-MW Power Barge 104 this year, bulk of the contracted output of the Unified Leyte Power Plants, the contracted capacity of the 210-MW Mindanao coal plant in Misamis Oriental, the Casec¬nan multi-purpose hydro power plant and the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan hydro plant in Luzon.

Now on its 4th leg of consultation in Mindanao, the electric cooperatives with the support of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) are already drawing support from their members to form as one entity to bid for the privatization of the hydro power plant.

The Cooperative Power Summit held on Friday at CAP Auditorium was attended by electric cooperatives from Davao Region, the chair of the House Committee on energy Reynaldo Umali, Undersecretary Donato Marcos of the Department of Energy (DoE), CDA Administrator of Mindanao Datu Pendatun Disimban and Conquilla.

The Summit was convened to discuss pressing concerns on energy crisis and the need of the cooperative sector to bid for the privatization of the hydropower plant.

CDA chair Orlando Ravanera was optimistic that the Mindanao electric cooperatives with a total three million members have a fighting chance to get the hydropower plant. The interest of the cooperatives to buy the hydro plant is the latest move to address the power crisis. Managing the plant by cooperatives will be a pioneering model in the Philippines and the ASEAN region.

Ravanera said it will even empower the people and one of the ways to address poverty in Mindanao. He said this model of cooperativizing the power generation will also mean Mindanaoans will no longer suffer from brownouts once the facility will be upgraded and improve its condition.

Pete Ilagan, president of Nasecore (National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms Inc.) said under one entity as Mindanao Energy Cooperative, they plan to have 17 members in the board of directors and two seats reserve for PSALM and Napocor.

Ilagan said they will also strengthen their financial and technical capabilities to effectively and efficiently run the plant.