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Philippines turns over national grid to China-led consortium

15 January 2009 – A Chinese-led consortium on Thursday officially took over a 25-year concession of the Philippines’ national electricity grid, the government’s privatisation arm said.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which includes the State Grid Corporation of China, has already began operating the grid, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said.

The consortium last week remitted $987.5m as “its upfront payment for the operation” of the National Transmission Corp. or Transco, PSALM said.

The amount represents 25 per cent of the $3.95bn dollar purchase price for the concession it won in an auction in December 2007.

“The government is now a step closer to its objective of providing the Filipino consumer a reliable, quality and affordable supply of electricity,” PSALM president Jose Ibazeta said in the statement.

The takeover also underscores the “unwavering support and confidence” of the international investor community in the government’s reform programmes in the power industry, he said.

The consortium also includes Philippines firms Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. and Calaca High Power Corp.

State Grid Corporation of China covers 88 per cent of the service area in China.