Philstar Global


MANILA, Philippines — Three groups which have expressed interest in participating in Manila Electric Co.’s competitive selection process (CSP) for 1,800 megawatts of power supply have raised their bids.

Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez said at least three interested bidders increased their offered capacities for the 1,800-MW CSP of greenfield baseload capacity for 2024-2025.

“As a result, the aggregate offered capacity now totals 7,000 MW, from the original 6,050MW offered when the invitation to bid was first published,” he said.

The higher bid from power generators would mean better prices for Meralco’s more than seven million customers.

“We are hopeful that the increase in offered capacity will mean more competitive prices for the 1,800 MW requirement being bid out, to the benefit of Meralco’s consumers,” Fernandez said.

Originally set on Jan. 25, bidders have until Jan. 27 to submit their final bids.

“The submission of bids is scheduled on Jan. 27 and the opening of price offers of qualified bidders will be on Feb. 10,” Fernandez said.

“Due to the number of potential bidders, the TPBAC, with the support of the TWG and the independent engineer to be engaged, will need time to evaluate the documents to be submitted,” he said.

Meralco received a total of 18 expressions of interest (EOIs) to join the competitive bidding, which meant a total capacity of 6,050 MW was offered from different technologies. However, only 17 joined the pre-bid conference as one bidder begged off.

This latest CSP was a revision of the 1,200-MW greenfield capacity bidding by Meralco in September 2019, which was declared a failure after only company, Atimonan One Energy Inc. submitted an offer.

Atimonan is a unit of Meralco Powergen Corp.

After the failed bidding, the 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 sought clearance from the Department of Energy to defer its CSP due to volatile oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.