Philstar global

 

MANILA, Philippines — Only nine generating companies submitted their bids to supply Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) with 1,800 megawatts (MW) of power through a competitive selection process (CSP).

“Nine submissions were received by the deadline, equivalent to 5,850 MW of capacity offered to supply the 1,800 MW requirement undergoing CSP,” Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said in a text message.

The list of final bidders was trimmed from a total of 18 companies that expressed interest in participating in Meralco’s CSP.

“Some formally withdrew their participation, while others did not submit their documents by the deadline,” Fernandez said.

The nine bids would be scrutinized by Meralco’s third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) before the opening of price offers of qualified bidders set on Feb. 10.

“The TPBAC will be checking each submission for completeness and whether the submission may proceed to the detailed pre-qualification evaluation. The latter is expected to happen over the next few days,” Fernandez said.

This latest CSP was a revision of the 1,200-MW greenfield capacity bidding issued by Meralco in September 2019, which was declared a failed bidding after only Atimonan One Energy Inc., a unit of Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), submitted an offer.

After the failed bidding, the Department of Energy (DOE) directed Meralco to open the second round of its CSP to all power plants – whether old or new – to truly allow competition and get the least cost of power for consumers.

In December 2019, Meralco started soliciting bids for the second round of its CSP for the 1,200-MW greenfield capacity required by 2024 with relaxed rules. However, the power distributor stopped the invitation to bid to give way for updates and amendments in the terms of reference.

When it was supposed to commence the CSP in 2020, Meralco asked clearance from the Department of Energy (DOE) to defer its CSP for 1,200-MW greenfield capacity needed for 202  due to volatile oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The request was made after “taking into account actual demand for 2019 and acquisition of demand-side and supply-side resources to cost- effectively meet the needs of customers.”

The DOE approved Meralco’s request to use basis forecast from current 2020 to 2022 and directed the country’s largest power distributor to proceed with the 1,800-MW CSP as soon as possible.