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Ceneco to seek authority from DOE to assess, choose responsive bids

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Ceneco engineering manager Jose Taniongon, acting manager Danny Pondevilla, and director Fr. Ernie Larida clarifying issues against the power cooperative yesterday* APN photo

Members of the Board of Directors of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative will seek the approval of the Department of Energy to grant them power to evaluate the offers and choose not just the lowest but a responsive bid for its power supplies.

Ceneco acting general manager Danny Pondevilla said that they will also ask the help of the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Negros Occidental Sangguniang Panlalawigan for the passing of a resolution in support of their request to the DOE.

If the DOE grants the request, they will evaluate which of the offers between Kepco Salcon Power Corporation and the Energy Development Corporation for the supply of the 20-megawatt base load power for the next 10 years they will choose, Pondevilla said.

In April, a competitive selection process for the 20MW baseload supply agreement for the next 10 years was conducted by the Third Party Bids and Awards Committee, and it chose to award the contract to Kepco at P3.20 per kilowatt hour against the bid of EDC for a renewable power supply at P3.31.

But the members of the board, having the authority to reject or accept the selection, decided to consult the DOE before rendering their decision, especially that there is a pending complaint filed by the group Konsyumer Negros before the agency against the current contract between Kepco and Ceneco for the 40MW baseload power supply entered into in 2009.

This prompted Kepco to seek for the extension of its current contract for another year despite the agreement’s supposed expiration on May 25, that Ceneco had approved.

Pondevilla earlier stressed that they were bent on choosing EDC’s offer as it proffered renewable energy as against the conventional energy source of Kepco. He said that if the DOE allows the board of directors to evaluate the offers, they will negotiate with Kepco to shorten the extension to six months instead of a year.

Choosing the offer of EDC for the supply of 20MW baseload power in the next 10 years would mean the conduct of another competitive selection process, but Pondevilla said that it will be in time for the end of the extension of the current contract that they have with Kepco.

ANOTHER CONTRACT ENDING

Aside from the delivery of the 20MW baseload power supply, Ceneco has an existing contract of 24MW with the Cebu-based coal-fired power plant that will expire next year.

Pondevilla said that once it ends, they are also planning to select a power supplier that will provide them with renewable energy since electric cooperatives are required to comply with the Renewable Portfolio standard set by the DOE.

Other contracts entered into by the firm include the 20MW with Green Core Geothermal Inc. in Negros Oriental until 2025, and 35MW from Palm Concepcion Power Corp. in Iloilo, that will end in 2025.

For Ceneco’s peaking load, they contracted 18.9MW from the Central Negros Power Reliability Inc., formerly Energreen Power Development and Management Corp., based in Bago City, Negros Occidental, until 2032.

CONSULTATIVE BODY

The members of the Ceneco board and Pondevilla discussed the formation of a consultative body and the selection process for its membership.

Pondevilla said this is to ensure transparency whenever Ceneco enters into agreements with power suppliers and erase any doubts of overpricing and over-contracting. He said they will ensure that the function of the body will not duplicate that of the members of the board.

Pondevilla added that they will not discriminate against any sector and will invite all consumers groups to send representatives.

The consultative body will also have representations from local government units, the business sector, and the media.*

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