9 gencos to join MERALCO’s power supply auction

DOE wants probe on power plants for anti-competitive behavior

Nine power generation companies (gencos) are keen on joining the competitive auction for the 1,800-megawatt (MW) power requirements of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO).

In its financial and operating results for the first nine months of 2020, MERALCO said it has received Expressions of Interest from the gencos, which would use various technologies totalling 3,600 MW.

The power giant did not reveal the gencos’ identities, citing non-disclosure agreements, though several companies have publicized on separate occasions their interest to participate. Among them is Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E). A1E is a  subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), MERALCO’s power generation arm.

A1E is the developer of the Philippines’ first ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant in Atimonan, Quezon valued at P160 billion.

Other interested gencos are San Miguel Corporation (SMC), AC Energy, Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, and AboitizPower. SMC and AC Energy won power supply contracts late last year covering 1,200 MW of MERALCO’s power requirements.

Other parties that wish to participate have up to November 12 to submit their Expression of Interest, while the bid submission deadline and opening of bid offers will be on January 25, 2021.

Based on the bid invite, the country’s largest power distributor said that it would need 1,200 MW by December 2024 and 600 MW by May 2025. Bidders can offer at least 150 MW.  Should the total capacity offer exceed 1,800 MW, the bidder that fills up the last stack will have its offer reduced. Price offers must also not go over than the pre-determined reserve price, which would only be revealed during the opening of the bids.

MERALCO prefers baseload plants or those that continuously run 24/7. The power facilities should be in commercial operation between January 2020 and May 2025. The plants’ scheduled outage allowance (OA) and their forced OAs should not exceed 30 days and 15 days, respectively.