3 bidders for MERALCO competitive auction raise offers

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Three participants in the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) upcoming competitive selection process have raised their bids.

As a result, the total offered capacity now stands at 7,000 megawatts (MW), said MERALCO utility economics head Lawrence Fernandez. The aggregate offered capacity from was at 6,050MW as of November 2020.

The MERALCO executive is hopeful that the increase in offered capacity would mean competitive prices for the 1,800MW to be bidder out. Higher bids from power generators would translate to better prices for the power giant’s over seven million customers.

Originally set on January 25, the the final submission of bids was moved to January 27. Meanwhile, the opening of the qualified bidders’ price offers will be on February 10. Fernandez said the new dates were set to give time to the third party bids and awards committee to evaluate the documents that will be submitted.

MERALCO received a total of 18 expressions of interest for the bidding as of November, but only 17 bidders joined the pre-bid conference last December 17 since one participant begged off.

The upcoming power auction is a revision of MERALCO’s 1,200MW greenfield capacity bidding in September 2019, which was declared a failure with only one company, Atimonan One Energy Inc. (A1E), submitting an offer.

A1E is a subsidiary of MERALCO PowerGen Corporation, MERALCO’s generation arm. MERALCO is the country’s largest power distributor.

Following the failed bidding, the Department of Energy directed MERALCO to open the second round of its bidding to all power plants to allow true competition and get the lowest cost of power possible for consumers.

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