3 bidders disqualified in Meralco CSP

Published February 10, 2021, 12:29 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

At least three bidders have been disqualified in the ongoing competitive selection process (CSP) of power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for power supply agreements (PSAs) that will satiate 1,800 megawatts of its future power supply portfolio.

According to industry sources, the disqualified offers had been submitted by a project proponent of solar farm in Concepcion, Tarlac; a subsidiary firm of a listed power company which is part of a major conglomerate; and coal power plant development of a Chinese firm proponent.

The disqualified bidders can file a motion for reconsideration within three days from receipt of notice; and the Meralco CSP third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) will have at least seven days to act on it. Given that, the opening of the financial bids had been moved to February 19, 2021 from February 10.

The listed firm, which has RE investments leaning, had been asked if it will file a motion for reconsideration, but the company has not given definitive statement yet on its next move.

It was gathered that the disqualified tenders had mismatch in technical information in their formal bids if reckoned with the system impact study (SIS) that they correspondingly submitted.

In particular, one bid proposed a 200MW solar plant; but its SIS has 1,200MW capacity; and another one proposed a fusion of solar-wind-battery installation; but the battery component has not been categorically stated in the SIS; hence, preclusion had been rendered on their tenders.

The disqualification of the three offers had been officially communicated to the Department of Energy (DOE) after the conclusion of deliberations of the Meralco-CSP TPBAC on Tuesday (February 8).

Meralco’s CSP cornered nine offers during the bid submission deadline last January 27 – and these are combination of coal, gas and renewable energy (RE) technology bids.

Nevertheless, with the disqualification of the three bids, there are remaining six tenders at this point – pending any anticipated filing of motion for reconsideration by the disqualified proponents.

When asked on the continuation of the CSP process, Meralco Vice President Lawrence S. Fernandez, who is part of the secretariat of the CSP TPBAC, indicated that “after careful scrutiny, the TPBAC for Meralco’s 1,800MW CSP completed yesterday (February 9) the pre-qualification evaluation of documents submitted by bidders last January 27.”

He stated that “individual results were subsequently released to the authorized representatives of the bidders.”

Fernandez also emphasized that “as the CSP is still ongoing, details of the bidders that were prequalified could not be divulged,” but he noted that TPBAC submitted the results of its evaluation to the DOE.

Further, he apprised relevant stakeholders that “in the interest of due process and on account of the protest mechanism of the bidding rules, the TPBAC rescheduled the opening of bid prices of pre-qualified bidders to February 19, or until resolution by the TPBAC of any request for reconsideration or by the Meralco Board of Directors of any protest.”