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Meralco prepared for summer’s high demand

Linemen fix the electricity posts in Tondo, Manila. Customers of Manila Electric Co. can expect slightly higher electric bills in January. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

ELECTRICITY demand in the dry season will increase, but the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) assured the public on Tuesday that it has long prepared for the situation by obtaining additional power supply.

Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Meralco’s vice president and head of corporate communications, said the company is coordinating with the Department of Energy (DoE) to ensure continuous delivery of electricity service to customers throughout summer, this year.

“Meralco also proactively obtained additional power supply via a series of competitive selection processes (CSPs) to meet the growing electricity demand of its customers,” Mr. Zaldarriaga said.

The power distributor recently secured an additional 400-megawatt (MW) capacity for its baseload requirement through a bidding which is subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Meralco has secured its supply requirement from Limay Power, Inc., a subsidiary of San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corp., after it submitted the lowest offer at P6.2708 per kilowatt-hour.

The bidding seeks to augment the power supply needs during the dry months, allowing the company to lessen its exposure to the sport market “when prices are highly volatile,” it said.

After two failed biddings, Meralco is also seeking potential suppliers for the 260-MW power supply to serve its peaking requirements.

Meanwhile, the power distributor has called for increased participation in the government’s Interruptible Load Program, wherein large power consumers are asked to use their generation sets or shift their operations instead of sourcing from the grid.

This is to spare households from power interruptions during instances of red alter or when supply is insufficient to meet the demand.

According to Meralco, there are 105 companies with 530 MW of de-loading capacity across its franchise area that are enrolled in the program.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

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