Meralco to procure ‘emergency supply’ for election period

Published October 26, 2021, 4:37 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Energy utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) will carry out ‘emergency procurement’ of power capacity to ensure uninterrupted electricity service in next year’s election period.

In a briefing with reporters, Atty Jose Ronald V. Valles, first vice president and regulatory head of Meralco, said they will procure 170 megawatts through a competitive selection process (CSP).

CSP is a bidding scheme employed for power supply agreements (PSAs) that shall be under-written by distribution utilities (DUs) in building up their supply portfolio in accordance with the Power Supply Procurement Plan (PSPP) that they submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE).

“From the last quarter of this year up to the period of the elections next year, we are planning to procure emergency supply because of the 170MW requirement under our PSPP,” Valles emphasized.

He noted the auction proceedings, via the CSP, shall be carried out upon the approval of the DOE on the proposed supply sourcing. “This will be our emergency procurement and we will conduct the CSP accordingly,” the Meralco executive reiterated.

Valles explained that the proposed 170-MW capacity was originally included in Meralco’s earlier request to the energy department for exemption from the conduct of a CSP. The DOE, however, rejected the request forcing the utility firm to go through the CSP to corner that additional supply needed during the election period.

“We will be procuring this through a CSP and this will cover the period beginning the effectivity of the CSP award up to June or July next year 2022 to cover the period of elections,” Valles stressed.

Next year’s national elections in May, which is also the peak of summer months, is a critical period as electricity demand in the country is typically at its peak.

And during elections, it is paramount to ensure that the process will not be marred by power service interruptions or brownouts, because that will compromise the integrity of the poll results.

As in previous elections, it is often the blackout predicaments that are being blamed for cheating acts being instigated by unscrupulous agents in such condemnatory incidents, hence, there is a fervent appeal to power utilities that they must have sufficient electricity supply on these period.

 
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