DOE-ERC conflict seen to delay Meralco PSA approvals


The Manila Electric Company and its counterpart generation companies (GenCos) are set to file joint applications for its newly signed power supply agreements (PSAs).

However, the ongoing policy conflict between the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is seen to affect any fast approval of power supply deals.

The six PSAs Meralco signed with its winning GenCos in its competitive selection process (CSP) has yet to be filed with the ERC as the regulatory body won’t accept the filings until there is certification from the DOE that confirms that the firm had conducted the CSP activities.

Three PSAs with a baseload capacity of 1,200 MW were signed with the firms of San Miguel and PHINMA Energy groups. Another three PSAs were signed with San Miguel, PHINMA Energy and First Gen of the Lopez group for its 500 MW mid-merit capacity requirements. The contracts will be effective in December.

ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera had raised the issue to DOE secretary Alfonso G. Cusi that the ERC will need DOE’s certification before it can accept the DUs’s PSA filings for approvals.

“In order to comply with the Supreme Court decision in the APB (Alyansa Para Sa Bagong Pilipinas Inc) case, the ERC shall only accept and review applications for approval of a power supply agreement (PSA) that contain a certification from the DOE attesting to the PSA’s compliance with DOE Department Circular No. DC2018-02-003,” Devanadera was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.

DOE Director Mario C. Marasigan commented on the matter saying, “we are looking for the basis of the certification, but at the moment, we find none.”

When Meralco and the GenCos can file the applications and seek approvals for the PSAs is still uncertain as the conflict between the two agencies is unresolved.

Officials from the DOE sat in the CSP as observers, including Undersecretary Jesus Posadas, Assistant Secretary Robert Uy and Power Bureau Director Marasigan.

ERC officials were also invited to observe during the CSP activities but ERC did not reply to the invitations and had not set anyone in the auction process, according to third party and awards committee (TPBAC).