Top power firms vie Meralco supply contracts

Published November 16, 2020, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

               The country’s biggest power generation companies are eyeing to join the competitive selection process (CSP) of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) so they can corner contracts on the utility firm’s future power supply portfolio.

               The energy firms that signified interest to participate in the Meralco CSP for power supply agreements (PSAs) include: SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation of San Miguel Corporation; Aboitiz Power Corporation for its joint venture project with AC Energy of the Ayala Group; as well as Meralco PowerGen Corporation, which is a subsidiary-firm of Meralco.

               First Gen of the Lopez group also made earlier pronouncements that it is keen on joining the power supply auctions of Meralco  slated in January next year.

               The total capacity on tender will be for Meralco’s 1,800 megawatts of requirements starting year 2024 – and it will serve its requirements for both base load and mid-merit capacities.

               SMC President Ramon S. Ang, in particular, noted that they plan to join Meralco’s tendering process with their blueprinted greenfield plants in Batangas that will feed on liquefied natural gas (LNG) – a three-phased development of 850MW capacity each or a total of 2,550MW project.

               Ang said the company will join the Meralco bidding; and whether or not they will corner a PSA from that auction, SMC Global Power will still pursue its LNG-fired power projects. The target commercial operation date for the first phase is in year 2022.

               Aboitiz Power President and CEO Emmanuel V. Rubio indicated they are targeting to offer the capacity of the GNPower Dinginin coal-fired facility in the CSP that is being scheduled by Meralco.

               “We’re expecting new capacities that will be coming in for 2021 – GNPD (GNPower Dinginin) Units 1 and 2, which we are looking at offering for the CSP that Meralco will be conducting,” he said.

                While bulk of the capacity of the two generating units had already been contracted, Rubio emphasized that there’s still space that they can dangle in Meralco’s bidding, as the plants’ blocks are of 150MW capacity.

                Meralco PowerGen President and CEO Rogelio L. Singson had also apprised the media that their company already did preparations to join the PSA bidding of Meralco; via their planned Atimonan power facility in Quezon province.

                That propounded facility is shovel-ready and can already seamlessly move to tapping engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor as well as work on financial closing if it wins a supply contract, because the developer-firm already secured all necessary permits and approvals on the project’s implementation.

             The deadline for submission of expressions of interest (EOI) for Meralco’s CSP lapsed last November 12. This will be followed by a pre-bid conference on December 17 and the bid submission deadline and opening on January 25 next year.

               The third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) of Meralco previously indicated that it received initial offers from nine generation companies, but that was expected to increase as the EOI submission closed last week. (