The auction of the Ambuklao-Binga hydro power plants in the Philippines has drawn 11 expressions of interest, mostly from locally registered firms.

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp (PSALM) plans a public auction that will see the 75MW (three 25MW units) Ambuklao and 100MW (four 25MW units) Binga plants offered in auction as a package. The plants were built in the late 1950s on the Ango river in Benguet.

PSALM said that eight of the 11 contenders come from the Philippines, and that some had partnered with foreign firms for the auction. Of the remaining three contenders, two are from Europe and one from the Asia-Pacific region.

The corporation held the pre-bid conference for the interested parties two days ago. Final bid documents are to be issued 8 November and tenders are expected to be received later that month.

The plants are the latest hydro assets to be auctioned by PSALM. Last year, First Gen Corp bought the 100MW Pantabangan and 12MW Masiway plants for US$129M. It expressed interest previously in the Ambuklao and Binga plants, as well as the 246MW Angat scheme.

In April this year the 360MW Magat plant was bought by a Norwegian-Philippine joint venture, SN Aboitiz Power.