MANILA Dec 12 Only two consortia tabled bids
on Wednesday for a multi-billion dollar licence to run the
Philippine power grid in what could be the country's biggest
ever privatisation deal.
San Miguel Energy, a unit of Philippine food and drinks
giant San Miguel Corp. SMCB.PS, headed up one group and the
Philippines' Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., which has teamed
up with State Grid Corp. of China was the other bidder,
A third consortium headed by Philippine holding firm Metro
Pacific Corp (MPI.PS) did not submit a bid despite
pre-qualifying for the auction, officials said.
Manila has been trying since 2003 to privatise the
management of the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) to
boost state finances and modernise its creaking power sector.
Wednesday's auction was the fifth attempt and the second this
Political uncertainty and doubts about the predictability
of profits tripped up previous sale efforts but a new tariff
system for Transco, in operation since last year, is supposed
to make the 25-year licence more lucrative for investors.
The grid, which needs about $850 million over the next five
years for upgrades and expansion, was valued at 138 billion
pesos ($3.3 billion) in 2006.