Meralco, Millenium move to resolve row

by Alena Mae S. Flores – May 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

from Manila Standard Today

Manila Electric Co. and Millennium Energy Inc. jointly filed a petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission to allow the dispatch of power from the 100-megawatt Navotas gas turbine power plant pending the resolution of their dispute.

Meralco and Millennium on May 10 filed a 26-page petition for dispute resolution and an interim relief with the ERC. The disagreement stemmed from Meralco’s distribution wheeling charges.

Meralco and Millenium asked the regulator to “prevent Meralco from cutting off the Millennium Gas Turbine Power Plant from its distribution system” and allow the delivery of electricity using the retailer’s distribution system pending the resolution of the dispute.

The parties also asked ERC not to make Millennium liable for unpaid billings amounting to P34.501 million and order Meralco to make the proper refunds to Millennium as may be justified by the circumstances.

They also asked ERC to fix the distribution wheeling charges taking into account “the peculiarities of the embedded generators, grouping them together as may be warranted by circumstances.”

Millennium said it already paid out P92 million to Meralco in distribution wheeling charges as of November 2015, adding it could no longer pay the fees from December 2015 to March 2016 amounting to P34.501 million.

Millennium said its payment was enough to recover P26.633-million cost of connecting the power plant to Meralco.

Millennium said compelling the company to pay the remaining distribution charges would hasten its financial hemorrhage and threaten its business survival.

The company said revenues from May 2015 to March 2016 reached P131.156 million compared with generation costs, including the distribution wheeling charges, of P384.47 million.

Meralco and Millenium said granting a waiver of the remaining distribution wheeling charges did not amount to discrimination and would not result to cross-subsidization.

Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsadal sent a letter to Millennium and Meralco last week seeking assurance of the Navotas power output once called upon by the power grid.

Monsada earlier said she would sit down with Meralco and Millennium to  resolve their dispute and allow the generation of 100 megawatts from the Navotas plant.

Monsada had said the Navotas diesel plant should provide additional capacity during the critical May 9 election period.

Millennium also owns the 620-megawatt Limay power plant previously owned by San Miguel Corp.