Meralco accepts DOE terms for CSP
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has accepted the agency’s terms in its competitive selection process (CSP) for greenfield capacity.

“Finally there was a meeting of minds on the terms of reference (TOR). For the details, I think it will be published. They asked for authority to publish and we’ve given it,” he said.

The changes suggested by the Department of Energy will allow for transparent and non-restrictive competitive bidding process of the country’s largest power distributor.

“There were revisions made. This just shows that we are really looking into every detail,” Cusi said.

Among the changes suggested is to allow stacking of capacity of several power plants to meet the 1,200-MW supply requirement of Meralco and to allow merchant power plants to participate in the bidding process.

“Remember, we are encouraging merchant power plants. So that infrastructure is ahead even without PSA (power supply agreement). They are looking at selling in the market and being able to participate in the coming CSP,” Cusi said.

For its part, Meralco has confirmed that it has received the DOE’s letter on the TOR of the 1,200-megawatt (MW) CSP.

Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said the power utility is working on publishing another invitation to bid.

“For publication, we just need to convene the TPBAC (third party bids and awards committee) and formally obtain their approval to publish. We also need to confirm their availability to set the schedules for the pre-bid conference and the opening of bids. These dates will be part of the invitation to bid to be published,” he said.

In December, Meralco started soliciting bids for the second round of its CSP for the 1,200-MW greenfield capacity required by 2024 with relaxed rules.

However, the power distributor stopped the invitation to bid to give way for amending the TOR.

Last September, Meralco conducted the CSP for the 1,200-MW greenfield capacity but was declared a failed bidding after only Atimonan One Energy Inc., a unit of Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), submitted its offer.

After the failed bidding, the DOE directed Meralco to open the second round of its CSP to all power plants — whether old or new — to truly allow competition and get the least cost of power for consumers.

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