FORGING ahead in its plan to privatise the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has announced a new time frame within which the exercise is to be fully completed in line with the reform agenda of the Federal Government.
In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday by its spokesman, Chukwuma Nwokoh, the BPE said it would open the financial bids by prospective investors for privatisation of the companies created from the PHCN between September 25 and October 10, 2012. He said the revised bid time frame issued to investors by the privatisation agency showed that announcement of the preferred bidders for the 17 successor companies by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) would be made on/or before October 23, 2012.
Besides, the Bureau will issue revised legal documents to the bidders on March 30, 2012 while April 20, 2012 is the deadline for receipt of comments by bidders on the legal documents. The distribution/issuance of final bid documents is on May 11, 2012 while the deadline for submission of technical and financial bids is July 31, 2012.
According to the new arrangement, evaluation of the technical bids would take place between August 14 and 28, 2012 while the NCP will approve the results of the technical evaluation on/or before September 11, 2012. The deadline for the shortlisted bidders for generation companies to submit their letters of credit is September 18, 2012 while October 2, 2012 is for shortlisted bidders for distribution companies. The NCP approval, it was learnt, will pave way for opening of financial bids of the shortlisted investors.
In a letter to the prospective investors, Mallam Ibrahim Babagana, the Acting Director (Electric Power) at the BPE, explained that the review of the transaction timetable became imperative in order to address the concerns raised at the Transaction and Industry Review Conference which was held in Abuja on November 28 and 29, 2011.
His words: “In view of the foregoing, we have been working diligently to create a bankable package of transaction and industry documents based on your feedback. Specifically, we have been working with other agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Power, Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN), Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), and the World Bank to amend and harmonise key industry documents such as MYTO (Multi-Year Tariff Order) 2, Transmission Use of System Agreement (TUoS), Connection/Interface Agreement (CIA), Gas Sale and Aggregation Agreement (GSAA), Gas Transportation Agreement (GTA), Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), and Vesting Contract.”
Potential bidders for the distribution companies are expected to be existing power distribution companies or core investor groups with power distribution companies as long-term technical partners. Successful bidders will be responsible for operating the distribution companies, making the necessary investments to improve the distribution network and customer service in line with the objectives of the Federal Government set out in the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP.)
As for the generating companies, potential bidders/concessionaires, who should be existing local and/or international power generators or investors with power generators as long-term technical partners, will be responsible for operating the stations, improving the generation capacity and making the necessary investments in line with the objectives of the Federal Government.