May 29, 2024

Beneco is completing the requirements for the bidding of its new power supply contract even as it is also busy finalizing activities for the celebration of its 50th founding anniversary this October.

The distribution utility’s current 20-year power supply contract with Mirant (now Team Energy Phil.) will expire in March, 2024 and cooperative officials are aiming to complete in time all documents needed to start the competitive selection process for a fresh power supply agreement.

Based on forecast simulations of Beneco’s engineers, the utility is looking to put in the bid market a capacity of 73 megawatts for four years or March, 2024 until 2028 to ensure the continuous supply of electricity to its more than 140,000 consumers.

The competitive selection process, issued by the Department of Energy defines the rules of bidding to be followed by all electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in the country in securing a pact for their power supply.

“We are on track and hopefully, by the end of 2023 or early 2024, we would already have secured a new power supply contract,” Beneco Acting General Manager Delmar Cariño said.

Beneco formed a third party bids and awards committee (TPBAC) to attend to the procurement process. The committee is composed of three cooperative officials and two member consumer owners whose selection was approved by the Beneco interim board of directors.

Lawyer Jose Mari Molintas, president of the Baguio Benguet chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Mario Gayao, an engineer who previously managed Beneco’s transactions with the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, represent the utility’s captive consumers in the committee.

The DOE earlier approved the creation of the TPBAC and the rules for the selection of the members.

DOE Usec. Rowena Cristina Guevara said the process adopted by Beneco in the selection of the two captive customer nominees to the TPBAC is consistent with competitive selection process rules.

Creation of the TPBAC is just one of the requirements, however.

Still to be hurdled is the approval by the National Electrification Administration of the revised terms of reference submitted by Beneco in August.

Once the terms of reference is approved, NEA will issue a notice to proceed which will be the basis of Beneco to publish the invitation to bid.

Anticipating NEA’s approval of the terms of reference, Beneco already drafted the “instructions to bidders” to guide power suppliers who are interested to join the bidding. – Laarni Sibayan