By AJ Bajo | Daily Tribune
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Tuesday said that it still wants to construct the two 600-megawatt (MW) power plant in Atimonan, Quezon despite an expected delay after the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision requiring power supply agreements signed after 2015 to undergo the competitive selection process (CSP).
Meralco said that it’s critical to start the CSP process to have the projects started as soon as possible and assure energy supply sufficiency in the future
The ultra supercritical coal-fired power plant is initially scheduled for completion in 2021 but the power supply agreement for the project currently awaits regulatory approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
“Internally, our consensus is that we will respect the decision of the SC. We will heed the directions as well, that we follow the competitive selection process,” Meralco deputy chief executive officer and president Ray Espinosa said at the power retailer’s annual stockholder’s meeting in Ortigas on Tuesday.
“We will do this as quickly as we can in coordination with the Department of Energy. (DoE)”
He said they are looking at how the company can fast-track the Atimonan project “in the context of the SC decision.”
“It means that if we want to pursue Atimonan then we have to go to the CSP. Once things become clearer as to the CSP, then we will obviously act as fast as we can.”
From self-negotiated deals, the SC decision requires the ERC as well as companies to subject power supply agreements submitted by the power companies or distribution utilities under a CSP mandated by the DoE.
Meralco said that it’s critical to start the CSP process to have the projects started as soon as possible and assure energy supply sufficiency in the future.
The Atimonan coal power plant will be constructed by Meralco’s power generating arm Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen) and has a project cost of P135 billion.
Aside from the coal-fired power plant, Meralco, through MGen, is scanning the country for possible sites for its renewable energy expansion.