SIX power firms offered the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of baseload capacity for delivery starting a year from now.
Meralco needs 1,800MW of baseload power generation capacity due for delivery in November 2024. A pre-bid conference for the six firms that submitted expression of interest to Meralco’s competitive selection process (CSP) held last Monday.
“More than 3,000 megawatts participated and I think there were three SMC (San Miguel Corp.) plants, one GNPD (GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Co.) and one solar company; I can’t remember all,” said Meralco Head of Regulatory Management Office Jose Ronald V. Valles.
Another pre-bid conference is scheduled on November 24 while the deadline for submission of comments is on December 1.
”The schedule of awarding is last week of December. What we have right now is only the submission of interest. So we don’t know yet if all of these companies will eventually make it to the final round, if they will decide to submit a bid,” added Valles, a lawyer.
The list of firms that formally expressed interest to join the competitive bidding are GNPD, First NatGas Power Corp., SP New Energy Corp., Mariveles Power Generation Corp., Excellent Energy Resources Inc. (EERI) and Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. (MPPCL).
Four of the six offers are coal; the remaining two are solar and gas.
Valles said there is no preferred technology because “the CSP guidelines of ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) says that they should be transparent and not discriminatory although we are trying to observe also the advisory of the DOE (Department of Energy) that what needs priority are indigenous sources.”
Meralco has set on December 26 the new deadline for bid submission of the 1,800MW.
EERI and MPPCL won in the first CSP. However, they moved to terminate the power supply agreements (PSAs) because the ERC failed to act on their applications within the six-month “longstop date,” or the period in which the ERC is supposed to approve or disapprove the application of a distribution utility (DU) and its power supplier for the implementation of their PSA. Once the longstop date is over, the power supplier has the right to terminate the PSA by providing a written notice of such termination to the DU.
Meralco and EERI filed their joint application last March 24, 2021, while the joint application of Meralco and MPPCL was filed on March 18, 2021. The longstop dates lapsed on September 23, 2021, and September 17, 2021, respectively.
Meralco said the 1,800MW capacity is needed to meet the growing demand of its customers starting next year. It expects electricity sales within its franchise area to grow between 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent this year from 2022.
Last year, Meralco’s energy sales volumes increased by six percent to 48,916 gigawatt hours (GWh) from 46,073 GWh in 2021 brought about by the minimal restrictions in commercial and social activities. Sales mix continued to shift towards the commercial segment, Meralco had reported.
“For October alone, we’re seeing around 5.2 percent increase then November, December it is still that much. So, on average, five percent per quarter. That would be around 4.7 percent for the year,” said Meralco Chief Commercial Officer and First Vice President Ferdinand O. Geluz.