NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Conflicting interpretations over the power demand-supply of One Bohol Power Distribution Utilities (1BP-DU) for the next ten years were raised by representatives of the 19 participating bidders during the first of two series of virtual pre-bidding conferences on Friday, September 18, 2020.
Several bidders brought out before the 1BP Third Party Bids and Awards Committee (TPBAC) the issue of the installation of an inland baseload power plant in Bohol by the winning bidder as a mandatory requirement for the “power supply islanding” – a primary objective of the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) Open Bidding for the long-term (2024-2033) power supply of 1BP.
A “power supply islanding” occurs when Bohol is isolated or cut-off from the grid and an equivalent capacity from a power plant installed on the island guarantees a readily available, reliable and affordable base load power requirement.
1BP is the aggregated group of the three distribution utilities (DU’s) – Bohol Light Company Inc. (BLCI) and the Bohol Electric Cooperatives 1 and ll created to jointly procure its future power requirements to achieve economies of scale.
The TPBAC emphasized that a base load plant shall be installed in Bohol with a minimum capacity of not less than the yearly contracted capacity of 1BP and shall be operational by December 26, 2023.
The committed base load demand for procurement by 1BP starts at 50 megawatts (MWs) in 2024 topping at 83 MWs by 2033, according to its schedule of contracted capacity in the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the CSP.
Any bid that would not include an island-based power plant shall be immediately disqualified, according to the TPBAC even as some participants expressed apprehensions on the affordability of the power rates because of the cost of the mandatory installation of an in-island plant.
A provision of the TOR states that the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) entered into by 1BP and the winning bidder including power rates will pass the final approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
To qualify for the bidding, the bidder shall offer different types of power plant and any combination that can be embedded to the grid and install a base load plant inside Bohol or an in-island plant plus a base load plant outside Bohol.
The bidder shall also comply with the objectives of a long term PSA particularly affordable/competitive rates, availability of power during islanding situations such as typhoons, earthquakes and other acts of God and man and should be environmentally compliant.
The “no coal” policy of the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGB) shall be strictly implemented to all prospective power plants.
VIABILITY AND TIME CONSTRAINTS
Suggestions from prospective bidders included a proposed extension of the 10-year guaranteed contract to recover investments and to move the commercial operation date for several more months due to the ongoing pandemic.
The TPBAC informed the bidders that the contract period of the PSA is mandated by the ERC not to go beyond a ten-year period while the extension of the commercial operation on December 26, 2023 to a later date will be discussed by the bids committee,
A 45-page information memorandum was issued by the1BP-CSP-TPBAC to the 19 prospective bidders.
The 19 prospective bidders that submitted their letters of intent and paid the bidding documents fee of PhP250,000.00 on September 11, 2023 are the following:
AC Energy, Aggreko Energy Rental Solutions, Inc., AP Renewable Inc., Bohol Hybrid Energy Corp./Power 4U, Inc., FDC Misamis Power Corp., First Gen, Genco18 Energy Inter ational Corp., Global Business Power Corp., GNPower Ltd. Co., Kepco SPC Power Corp., Masinloc Power Partners Co. LTD. (Subsidiary of SMC Global Power), Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC), One Renewable Energy Enterprise Inc., Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC), SN Aboitiz Power-Magat Inc., Solar Philippines, Therma Visayas Inc. (Aboitiz Power), TriConti ECC Renewables Corp. and Vivant Energy Corp.
Sino Solar Hybrid (Beijing) Technology Co. Ltd. submitted the LOI but failed to pay the bids document fee.
The TPBAC also informed the bidders that the participating fee of PhP750,000.00 was reduced to Php100,000.00.
Queries, suggestions and positions of the bidders raised during the pre-bidding conference will be addressed by the bids committee thru the issuance of bid bulletins before the 2nd pre-bid conference scheduled next week. (Chito M. Visarra)