Cusi welcomes SC decision requiring supply deal bidding

By Alena Mae S. Flores – May 06, 2019 at 07:25 pm

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court decision ordering energy companies to undergo a competitive selection process for power supply agreements.

“We have to respect and abide the decision of the SC,” Cusi said.

The Energy Regulatory Commission assured it would meet with the Energy Department and other stakeholders on the impact of the Supreme Court ruling.

“Although the commission has not received a copy of the decision, it has decided to take the necessary plans and measures to preempt and mitigate possible implications of the Supreme Court decision,” ERC chairperson Agnes Devanadera said.

“Meetings with the DoE and affected entities such as DUs (distribution utilities), gencos (generation companies) and other power industry stakeholders will be carried out this week to jointly address the issues at hand. We assure the public that the commission will be doing everything within its legal mandate to protect the consumers relative to the impact of the recent SC decision,” Devanadera said.

Cusi said the SC decision would help move the power projects forward. There are up to 90 PSAs reportedly pending with the ERC.“It will help the projects get going. Definitely, it will be an addition to capacity,” Cusi said.

Manila Electric Co. has yet to issue a statement on the high tribunal’s decision. Meralco signed power supply agreements with seven generators in April 2016 to secure 3,551 megawatts of capacity needed in its franchise area, which is the subject of the Supreme Court case.

Meralco signed PSAs with Panay Energy Development Corp., Atimonan One Energy Inc., Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc., St. Raphael Power Generation Corp.,  Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp., Mariveles Power Generation Corp., and Global Luzon Energy Development Corp.

ERC has already granted provisional approval to Panay Energy’s PSA with Meralco. The regulator also suspended further hearings on three other PSAs with Central Luzon, Mariveles Power and Global Luzon amid the lack of environmental compliance certificates.

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. chairman Isidro Consunji said the company would abide by the ERC decision.

SMPC and Meralco’s power generation arm Meralco PowerGen Corp. signed a partnership under St. Raphael Power to develop a 700-MW coal-fired power generating facility in Calaca, Batangas which has a PSA with Meralco.

“If they say we have to go undergo CSP, we cannot do anything, we just have to follow, if that is the decision of the ERC,” Consunji said.