PSALM rakes in add’l P16.7 B from asset divestments (Manila Bulletin, Myrna M. Velasco)

17 Aug 2023

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) has fetched additional P16.76 billion worth of proceeds from the divestment of the power assets previously owned by its precursor-firm National Power Corporation.

In a presentation to Congress, PSALM President and CEO Edward Dennis A. Dela Serna said the additional collections flowed into the company’s coffers within this year’s first semester on top of the P39.5 billion aggregate collection last year.

Based on data, the bulk of the privatization proceeds remitted to PSALM came from the privatized independent power producer (IPP) contracts at P15.28 billion; while collection relative to the concession deal for the transmission assets stood at P1.44 billion; and sales of real estate assets at P40 million.

In the second half of this year, the biggest collection expected by PSALM will be the $526 million proceeds from the divestment of the Casecnan hydropower plant which was successfully auctioned last May.

The company previously indicated that the Casecnan payment will be funneled into the settlement of financial obligations that will be falling due next year.

According to Dela Serna, 45 power plants had already been privatized; and that accounted for 80-percent of the total NPC assets that had been transferred into its charge for divestment - as mandated under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

On an all-inclusive basis, he emphasized that PSALM already generated P916 billion worth of privatization proceeds; and scale of collections already topped P740 billion – correspondingly remitted by the takers of power plants and supply contracts; as well the concessionaire of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo); and the buyers of the real estate assets.

The way forward for PSALM, he said, will delve with the disposition of the remaining NPC-owned power assets – to include the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) hydropower facility in the Luzon grid; then the Mindanao coal and Mount Apo geothermal facilities.

Another major undertaking for the company is the target to enter into a long-term rehabilitation covenant for the Agus-Pulangui hydropower complexes in Mindanao, with the intent to optimize the level of electricity generation of the facilities.

There are also other major real estate assets being lined up for sale by the government-owned firm, including prized properties in Bagac, Sucat and Baguio and the planned redevelopment of the Diliman property into a mixed-use commercial estate, akin to the transformation carried out at the Fort Bonifacio Global City.

The company has yet to unveil the final plan for the Diliman property, but the initial target is to tap a third-party private sector entity to pursue its re-development game plan.

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