Meralco braces for higher demand during dry season, El Niño

By Kris Crismundo

February 26, 2024, 8:59 pm

MANILA – Manila Electric Company (Meralco) executives said the firm has been preparing for higher electricity demand amid the nearing dry season and the ongoing El Niño. 

In a press briefing at its headquarters in Pasig City on Monday, Meralco executive vice president and chief operating officer Ronnie Aperocho said the company has sufficient supply for its franchise customers as it recently awarded the 1,200-megawatt Power Supply Agreement (PSA) through a Competitive Selection Process (CSP) to South Premiere Power Corp. 

"As we approach the dry season, we continue to be proactive in securing sufficient and competitive-priced power through CSPs, while remaining vigilant on the possible impact of the lingering El Niño phenomenon," Aperocho said. 

"We are closely working with the government and industry partners to push for demand-side management efforts and energy-efficient practices that we believe would help in ensuring that there will be stable and reliable supply in the coming months," he added. 

In the same briefing, Meralco's first vice president and regulatory management head Jose Ronald Valles said the company is holding two CSPs this month to further augment supply during the dry season. 

These two involve a 260-MW interim PSA (IPSA) and a 400-MW CSP.

However, two bidders for the IPSA withdrew their expression of interest on Monday, leading to the failure of bid. 

Valles said Meralco is requesting the Energy Regulatory Commission for another round of CSP. 

For the 400-MW supply procurement, the opening of the bid is set for Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Meralco chief finance officer Betty Siy-Yap, during the same event, said the company will be spending nearly PHP40 billion this year -- PHP25 billion is allocated for distribution utilities, PHP4 billion for power generation, and the remaining amount for other systems, including renewables. (PNA)