PEMC seeks SC review of rule junking P235-million fine vs AboitizPower unit

by Lenie LecturaJuly 15, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) has asked  the Supreme Court (SC) to review a court decision that junked its appeal to impose a P235-million fine against a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, AboitizPower said on Friday the PEMC filed with the SC a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rule of Court.

“A copy of the petition was received by TMO [Therma Mobile Inc.]  through its counsel on July 13, 2016. TMO is still awaiting orders from the Supreme Court relative to the filed petition,” AboitizPower said.

PEMC’s filing before the SC comes after the Court of Appeals (CA) upheld in December last year the April 2015 decision of the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 157.

PEMC later filed a motion for reconsideration with the CA, but the latter denied it on April 22.

When sought for comment, PEMC  President Melinda Ocampo refused to answer media questions, saying she “may be subjected to subjudece.”

In January  AboitizPower said it was willing  to continue negotiations with PEMC to resolve their dispute. PEMC said TMO withheld capacity during the November and December 2013 supply period and imposed financial penalties.  TMO argued it did not withhold any capacity, as it was physically impossible for TMO to transmit more than 100 megawatts (MW) to the Manila Electric Co.

Although TMO’s rated capacity is 234 MW, it could only safely, reliably and consistently deliver 100 MW during the period under investigation because of the thermal limitations of its transmission lines and the technical and mechanical constraints of its generating units, the company said.

Aside from TMO, PEMC also imposed penalties against the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and PanAsia Energy Inc. for the same reasons

Under the must-offer rule, generation companies registered in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market    (WESM) must declare and offer the maximum generating capacities of their power facilities in the spot market.

Aside from PSALM, TMO and PanAsia, there were other power producers that violated the WESM rule, but penalties were not meted out against them.