By MYRNA M. VELASCO
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has finally given his go-signal to the second revised terms of reference (TOR) for the competitive selection process (CSP) being scheduled by Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on procurement of new 1,200 megawatts for its supply portfolio.
“Finally, there was a meeting of the mind,” the energy chief said, noting that Meralco already concurred to his recommendations on the revised CSP terms.
The new 1,200MW capacity will be for a power supply agreement (PSA) that the utility firm will be needing starting year 2024.
Cusi indicated the energy department has also granted Meralco’s plea for an “authority to publish” its CSP tendering process.
“They asked for authority to publish. When they publish, they can already solicit tenders – so that’s a go,” Cusi said.
Primarily, he emphasized that one key concept in the CSP-TOR that had been sorted out is the participation of merchant brownfield generating facilities in Meralco’s supply procurement.
He explained plants that have their capacity on merchant basis and still considerably newly built or still within their technological life cycles shall be allowed to join Meralco’s auction.
For example, he cited that if a power plant has a life cycle of 25 years and it was just operating for the last 15 years, then it can still bid its capacity for the remaining duration of its 10-year life.
“We exchanged views and we suggested and we articulated this and that, so that’s already okay,” Cusi stressed.
He said “the stacking option” had also been acceded to by Meralco – and it entails that the capacity off-take will not be for a bulk single contract of 1,200MW.
The energy chief further noted that merchant plants shall be allowed to join because that is one of Department of Energy’s (DOE) strategies to stimulate investments for power generating facilities.
“Remember that we are encouraging merchant power plants, so that infrastructure is ahead even without PSA,” the energy secretary pointed out.
Meralco Vice President Lawrence S. Fernandez confirmed that the utility firm “received DOE’s letter on the terms of reference,” relating to the targeted CSP for 1,200MW capacity.
He said the TOR is already for publication, but there is still a need to convene the third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) “to formally obtain their approval to publish.”
He said “we also need to confirm their availability to set the schedules for the pre-bid conference and the opening of bids,” adding that “these dates will be part of the invitation to bid to be published.”