City to prepare terms of reference for Asin mini hydro plants

The city will be preparing the required Terms of Reference (TOR) for the proposed rehabilitation and upgrading of the city-owned Asin mini hydro power plants for it to be bidded out to interested companies who want to participate in the bidding process that will be scheduled for the said purpose.

Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong requested the city’s finance officers to submit the previous terms of reference for the project to his office for him to seek advice from experts to fast track the process of conducting the bidding to ascertain which interested company will help the city rehabilitate and upgrade the city-owned power plants.

Earlier, the local chief executive approved the resolution of the City Council which rescinded the contract between the city and Kaltimex Energy Philippines for the supposed rehabilitation and development of the mini hydro power plants.

The city government was constrained to rescind the contract because of the alleged failure of Kaltimex to possess the power plants and do the required works to ensure that the power plants will be operational the soonest.

In 2006, the city took over the operation of the power plants after the 25-year contract between the local government and the Aboitiz-owned Hydroelectric Development Corporation (HEDCOR) expired and that the renewable energy company did not seek the renewal of the said contract.

However, in 2012, the city stopped the operation of the said plants following the cease and desist order issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the city to stop operating the plants after it failed to secure the required certificate of compliance from the regulatory agency.

In 2014, the local government bid out the proposed rehabilitation and upgrading of the aforesaid power plants that paved the way for the project to be awarded to Kaltimex Energy Philippines which was the declared complying bidder.

However, the company failed to possess the power plants even if it entered into a compromise agreement for it to pursue the desired improvement of the renewable energy facilities.

The Mayor claimed he will seek the appropriate advice from experts in the power industry on how to enhance the previous terms of reference before the city will bid out the project to ensure  it will attract more companies to participate in the bidding process and for the local government to be able to secure the best deal on how to operationalize the city-owned plants.

Baguio City enjoys the distinction of being the only local government in the country that owns renewable energy plants that could be income-generating projects of the city that can ensure additional sources of income for more development projects beneficial to the greater majority of the populace.

The city is inclined to tap the expertise of concerned government agencies and State-owned renewable energy companies to pursue the long overdue rehabilitation and upgrading of the said power plants that had remained idle for over a decade now. – Dexter A. See