10 investors eyeing Mt. Apo supply contract

Investors’ appetite seems to be on an upswing for the supply contract of the 108-megawatt Mt. Apo geothermal power asset with it cornering the initial interest of at least 10 investor-groups.

The appointment of an independent power producer administrator (IPPA) for the geothermal plant in Mindanao is the next privatization venture of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

Bid submission is slated September 24 this year, following a pre-bid conference this June 26 wherein the prospective bidders will be given the floor to raise their respective issues and concerns on the asset being set on the auction block.

In a text message to reporters, PSALM President Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. indicated that “there are 10 interested bidders who submitted their letters of interest” for Mt. Apo supply contract prior to May 30 deadline.

He expounded that out of the 10 interested parties, two are foreign-owned and the rest are local companies. As of press time, no names were provided, but Ledesma specified that the parties will be revealed later on.

The power supply contract for the facility will be offered to prospective IPPA which will then manage the sale of its capacity to off-takers through bilateral arrangements or other forms.

One option for the asset’s IPPA will be to trade the plant’s generated energy via the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) once the remaining concerns on the demand-side bidding underpinned spot market are fixed.

The geothermal facility is owned and operated by the Lopez-owned Energy Development Corporation (EDC), but the power supply agreement has remained with state-run National Power Corporation (NPC) thus it was among those mandated for privatization.

The remaining life of the contracts will be until February 15, 2022 for Unit 1; and up to June 17, 2024 for Unit 2. The two units are of 54.2 MW capacity each.

The IPPA engagements for the remaining NPC assets are being fast-tracked by PSALM, although some were pushed forward with either legal or technical hitches post bidding.