Electricity sales of Manila Electric Co., the biggest power retailer, rose nearly 6 percent in the first quarter from a year ago as the Philippines eased mobility restrictions in Metro Manila and other regions.
“Indicative numbers indicate close to 6 percent first-quarter growth compared to the same period last year,” Meralco first vice president and chief commercial officer Ferdinand Geluz said over the weekend.
He said all sectors―residential, commercial and industrial―posted growth in the first quarter.
“All sectors grew with strong energization performance specially for project covered applications at [more than 60 percent higher in the same period last year], recovery of commercial segment with easing of mobility and occupancy restrictions, steady growth of industrial segment with easing of mobility after January Omicron surge,” Geluz said.
He said the back to office/hybrid set-up for most segments including education and warmer temperature and strong household energization drove residential segment sales up.
Geluz expressed optimism that Meralco could surpass the 6-percent sales volume growth in 2021 as more commercial and industrial businesses opened up this year.
“Six percent is achievable and more if commercial picks up because, well, industrial sales continue to be robust,” he said.
He said that once more commercial establishments resumed operations, the 6-percent sales volume growth in 2021 may even be surpassed this year.
Meralco reported a 13-percent increase in consolidated core net income in 2021 to P24.6 billion from P21.7 billion in 2020.
This was driven by the return of energy sales volume to near pre-pandemic levels and contributions from the power generation business.
Meralco’s consolidated distribution utility energy sales volumes increased 6 percent to 46,073 gigawatt-hours in 2021 from 43,572 gWh in 2020, driven by sustained residential consumption, ramp-up in commercial volumes amid more relaxed quarantine restrictions and strong industrial rebound within the franchise areas.
Meanwhile, Meralco said its third-party bids and awards committee would begin soliciting bids for the second round of competitive challenge for its 850-megawatt renewable energy mid-merit requirement.
Meralco’s RE requirement covers a 20-year supply period starting Feb. 26, 2026.
The TBPAC is also soliciting bids for the second round of the competitive selection process for the 180-MW baseload capacity needed during the dry months from May 26 to July 25.
The first round of CSP for the 180-MW baseload requirement was declared a failure after no prospective bidder submitted an expression of interest within the March 31 deadline.
Meanwhile, the first round of challenge for the 850-MW RE mid-merit supply failed after no comparative bids were received by the April 5 deadline.
The bids were supposed to challenge the unsolicited proposal of Terra Solar Philippines Inc., the joint venture of Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. of the Leviste Group and Prime Infrastructure Capital Inc. of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.
Terra Solar proposed a P6.0800 per kilowatt-hour headline rate and levelized cost of electricity and committed 600 MW of power supply by Feb. 26, 2026 and an additional 250 MW starting Feb. 26, 2027.
The TPBAC set the submission of expression of interest for the second round of challenge no later than 4 p.m. of April 22 and pre-bid conference at 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 25.
The bid submission deadline was set at 9 a.m. of May 25 followed by the opening, assessment and evaluation of the bid submissions at 9:30 a.m. on the same date.
The TPBAC said late submissions and requests for additional time would not be accepted/allowed in all stages of the bidding. The TPBAC said Terra Solar can exercise its right to improve on the best bid’s proposed price by submitting a lower LCOE.