Meralco solicits 1,200 MW greenfield capacity for CSP

Published December 31, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By MYRNA M. VELASCO

Contrary to the prescribed terms of the Department of Energy (DOE), power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has issued its new invitation to bid (ITB) for its scheduled competitive selection process (CSP) this coming January for 1,200-megawatt greenfield baseload capacity or a power plant that could provide into its portfolio a reliable round-the-clock electricity supply.

MERALCO logo
MERALCO logo

Meralco said its bid notice calls for the submission of offers for 1,200 MW net greenfield capacity- and the start of power delivery to its load network shall be by year 2024.

“The full contract capacity has a scheduled commercial operations date (COD) of September 2024. The required contract period will be 20 years,” the utility firm said.

Meralco further announced that its third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) chaired by lawyer Ferdinand Domingo “shall conduct a pre-bid conference on January 20, 2020 and the bid submission and opening will take place soon after February 17, 2020.”

This is already the second round of bidding that Meralco will be carrying out for its solicitation of greenfield capacity that will then satiate its future supply portfolio.

It is apparent though that the utility firm is digressing from the wishes of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on supposed non-discrimination of greenfield or brownfield (existing) plants as prospective bidders in this next round of CSP for the targeted 20-year power supply agreement.

Cusi, in his letter to Meralco last October, has stipulated that “Meralco should not discriminate between existing and new plants and should accept offers from existing plants, plants currently under construction and new plants to be built.”

On the plant’s capacity, the energy chief also wanted it not limited to just a chunk of 1,200MW capacity, but he prefers stacking of offers until the entire capacity reaches the aggregate 1,200MW.

But Meralco argued there would be concerns on economics – especially on the perspective of the lenders, if the competition shall be between greenfield-to-brownfield capacities; and if the capacities will be split to undefined scale like strips of 1.0MW or 100MW and other variants.

Cusi, nevertheless, qualified that he will not stop Meralco from undertaking CSP within its own terms, but he said the utility firm must make sure that it can corner cheaply priced PSAs. Although he cautioned that his next move is something that the company has to watch out for.

Atty. Jose Ronald V. Valles, first vice president and head of regulatory management of Meralco, indicated that their company “continues to work with the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to ensure the completion of the succeeding biddings.”

He added “Meralco is confident that the next round of bidding will be successful once again, as this will contribute to adding much-needed capacity to the Luzon grid, as well as bring power rates further down for the benefit of our consumers.”

 
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