Korea Water Resources Development (K-Water) has been named by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation as the highest bidder for the 218MW Angat hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) in Bulacan, Philippines.

K-Water offered $440.88m for the Angat HEPP to edge out five other bidders including DMCI Power ($188.89m), First Gen Northern Energy ($365m), San Miguel ($312.5m), SN-Aboitiz Power Pangasinan ($256m) and Trans-Asia Oil & Energy Development ($237m).

PSALM said it will verify the accuracy, authenticity and completeness of the bid documents that K-Water had submitted before the company can be formally declared the winning bidder for the hydroelectric project.

As soon as K-Water is officially declared the winning bidder, it will be obligated to operate and maintain the Angat Dam at no cost to the government. Operation and maintenance obligations include keeping the dam compliant with international standards on safety, as well as addressing all structural weaknesses of the dam.

In bidding out the Angat HEPP, which operates through the Angat Dam, PSALM stressed that only the power plant component of the dam was privatized. The Angat Dam remains the property of the Philippine government.

PSALM also pointed out that there is no correlation between the privatization of the power plant and the water supply from the Angat reservoir, saying that the use of water by the winning bidder for the Angat HEPP will be regulated by the National Water Resources Board.

The agency explained that the new owner of the Angat HEPP can only use the same water that is already allocated to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for domestic use and the National Irrigation Administration for irrigation purposes.

Located in San Lorenzo, Norzagaray in Bulacan, the Angat HEPP consists of four main units, each with a 50MW capacity. The units were commissioned between 1967 and 1968. To augment its operation, the plant uses five auxiliary units including two turbines capable of generating a total of 28MW. These turbines are owned by the MWSS and were not part of the bidding, PSALM said.