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Meralco turns to PSALM for additional power


04:29 AM February 18th, 2013

By: Amy R. Remo, February 18th, 2013 04:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines—Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, seeks to increase the volume of electricity it sources from state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. by another 100 megawatts to secure the power supply within its franchise area.

The distribution utility has also sought to extend anew the period covered by its transition supply contract with PSALM.

Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes said that the company hopes to extend the contract until June, when the open access scheme is expected to start, or when the 246-megawatt Angat hydropower plant in Bulacan has been turned over to the private sector.

Meralco’s transition supply contract with PSALM expired last December. The contract was then extended to allow PSALM to continue supplying roughly 240 MW to Meralco for two months, or until the end of February.

“We’re working for an extension with PSALM. We’ve requested for [additional] volume … of 100 MW. This request is going to be beneficial to over 5 million residential, industrial and commercial customers who will be less exposed to the [high electricity rates at the] wholesale electricity spot market during the summer months,” Reyes told reporters in a recent interview.

“It’s a win-win [move] for everyone, because it also benefits PSALM and the National Power Corp.”

Last December, the PSALM board extended the transition supply contract with Meralco by two months, as opposed to the six-month period sought by the distribution utility.

PSALM president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. earlier said that they were no longer keen on extending by another four months its transition supply contract with Meralco, as they anticipate the turnover this month of the Angat power facility to its new owner—Korea Water Resources Corp. (K-Water), the leading water resources and power firm in South Korea.

Because of this development, Meralco will have to negotiate with K-Water for additional power requirements to help ensure adequate supply for the utility’s over 5 million customers.

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