Ambuclao, Binga dams up for sale
BAGUIO CITY (May 25) — Benguet’s Ambuclao and Binga dams in Bokod and Itogon towns, respectively are up for bidding within the year with the government’s impending plan to privatize half of the National Power Corporation (Napocor), government sources disclosed recently.
The government-controlled Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) is set to privatize Napocor within they year, the government report cited.
Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo said the sale of Napocor assets would “boost business confidence and generate needed investments for future electricity needs of the country.”
Napocor operates 28 power plants in the country and with the sale of its assets, the government would save some P40 billion annually in financing costs, the government release cited.
After the winning bidder is identified in December, the board would approve in two to three weeks the winning bidder. The contract would be effective January 2008.
Also up for bidding are the Masinloc coal-fired power plant in Zambales in July, the Calaca coal-fired power plant and the Palimpinon geothermal plant in October, followed by the Ambuclao and Binga hydroelectric power plants in November.
“The sale of the Masinloc, Calaca, Palimpinon and Ambuklao-Binga power plants within the year will actually go beyond the 50 % privatization target,” Saludo said.
Earlier, Ambuclao management noted a hardship in maintaining the hydroelectric dam complex and expressed the need for a contractor capable of checking the leakage in its turbine chambers.
Heavy siltation behind the Bokod earth dam has been posing gargantuan problems for the facility’s maintenance that for quite some time now, it only provides water for the Binga dam downstream in Itogon.
The government report did not mention any expected costs in the sale of the power facilities up for sale and did not mention any plan on the San Roque Multi-purpose dam in San Manuel, Pangasinan.
PSALM is the state agency tasked with selling Napocor assets. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS