Long-delayed plans for sale set to go ahead

With the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) bill set to be passed into law, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Private Enterprises (BPE) will have a legal platform to auction off National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) companies to the public. The sale of NEPA’s six generation companies, 11 distribution companies and the transmission company (Fransysco) is expected to kick off before the close of this quarter, according to reports from the country.

NEPA has already been unbundled and the power sector deregulated to encourage private investment. The EPSR bill, which has been with the National Assembly for years, is strongly opposed by NEPA workers but the privatisation of NEPA is expected to begin with the six generation companies. However, some questions have been raised over the attractiveness of the assets given that low water levels have left hydro plants inoperable while widespread vandalism causes some thermal stations to lose gas supplies as pipelines are damaged.