NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power who submitted the lowest bid proposal per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for the construction of a combination solar and coal-fired baseload power plant in Bohol withdrew its bid on February 23, 2021.
The Chronicle requested a confirmation from Aboitiz Power Corporation after it learned of the withdrawal of TVI from industry insiders on Monday.
A statement emailed to the Chronicle on February 23, 2021, at 1:14 PM by Jeffrey Estrella, TVI Attorney-in-Fact thru Victor Silva, Corporate Communication Specialist of Aboitiz Power Corporation confirmed the withdrawal of its bid proposal.
The TVI statement disclosed that “Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) confirms the withdrawal of its bid proposal to the One Bohol Power Distribution Utilities Joint Competitive Selection Process. We have already informed the Third Party Bids and Awards Committee (TPBAC).”
Asked to elaborate, TVI, in a follow-up text message explained that “We are constrained to provide further details out of respect to the TPBAC and the ongoing evaluation.”
One Bohol Power (1BP) is the aggregated group of distribution utilities (DUs) composed of the Bohol Electric Cooperatives I and II and Bohol Light Company Inc., (BLCI) created to jointly procure their future power demand for economies of scale.
Even as the statement issued by TVI did not elaborate on the grounds for its withdrawal, sources familiar with the 1BP bidding told the Chronicle that factors affecting their figures relating to load factors and pricing led to its decision to backout from the bidding.
The “too low price” submitted by TVI elicited raised eyebrows from other bidders when the prices were posted on a screen after the submission and opening of bids on February 12, 2021 at the Modala Beach Resort Tumoy Village, Purok 5, Barangay Doljo, Panglao.
Engineer Danilo Quidlat, head of the JTWG told the Chronicle that a report on the withdrawal of TVI and the extent of their evaluation will be submitted to the JTPBAC which will inform 1BP.
TVI was declared by the TPBAC as the bidder with the lowest calculated bid for submitting the lowest effective levelized price of PhP3.0405/kwh among the five other bidders, well below the price cap of P5.4089/kwh set by the Technical Working Group (TWG).
An effective levelized price is simply defined as a calculation of the present value of the total cost of building and operating a power plant over an assumed lifetime, according to industry sources.
All proposed prices submitted by the six bidders were geared to secure reliable and affordable power at all times including isolation of Bohol from the grid or power supply islanding.
According to the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding, a baseload power plant shall be installed in the province to satisfy the committed baseload demand in megawatts (MW’s) of 1BP of 50 MWs in 2024 up until 83 MWs in 2033.
According to the Information Memorandum provided by 1BP, the bidder with the lowest calculated bid will undergo post-qualification to determine whether the bid is responsive or not.
In case the lowest calculated bid is not responsive, the second-lowest calculated bid will be subjected to post-qualification and if post-disqualified, the same procedure shall be repeated until the lowest calculated responsive bid is finally determined. Post qualification will be performed by 1BP’s Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG).
Declared by the TPBAC as the lowest calculated bid, the TVI proposal was in the middle of a rigorous evaluation when its withdrawal was sent to 1BP, TPBAC, and the JTWG.
Following the TPBAC bidding process and TVI’s withdrawal, the tender of Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. (SPPPHI), will be evaluated as the second-lowest calculated bid of PhP3.9297/kwh for a solar+diesel plant.
SPPPHI is owned by Leandro Leviste, son of former senator Loren Legarda, now representative of Antique.
The four remaining bidders according to their price bids are Global Business Power Corporation of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for diesel+solar – Php4.5362/kwh, SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. of San Miguel Corporation for natural gas+battery – PhP4.5596/kwh, Bohol Hybrid Energy Corp. whose chair and President is a Boholano – Atty. Wilfredo Bacareza, Jr. for diesel+solar. – PhP 5.1897 and Energy Development Corp. (EDC) of the Lopez Group for diesel+geothermal – PhP5.2168/kwh.