May 23, 2024

The Benguet Electric Cooperative is set to sign anytime this month an emergency power supply agreement (EPSA) with an independent power supply producer as the utility’s 20-year-contract with Team Energy is set to expire in March 2024.

In the recent thanksgiving of Beneco, General Manager Melchor Licoben said there were no proponents in the competitive selection process (CSP) or bidding that the utility called in 2023, prompting the management to take an EPSA.

The Energy Regulatory Commission allows distribution utilities (DU) to enter into an EPSA provided there should be at least three invited producers and the deal should be for one year only.

Licoben said of the 22 power suppliers that Beneco has invited, five have responded. Four said they cannot supply the 73 megawatts Beneco required, while San Miguel Global Power Corporation was the only one that made a viable offer.

The power requirement of Baguio and Benguet is between 90 to 95MW. The remainder will come from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, Licoben added. 

Licoben said Beneco gave a counter-offer that is currently under negotiation.

But Licoben has declined to disclose the terms being negotiated due to the non-disclosure agreement between the two entities, but assured that immediately after the ERC approves the deal, Beneco will inform the public.

Team Energy currently bills Beneco a generation charge of around P5/kWh/per meter.

After the EPSA, Beneco will call for another CSP for a re-gular supply contract which will be from 2025 until the expiration of the utility’s franchise in 2028.

Rep. Mark Go has recently filed a bill extending the franchise of Beneco for another 25 years. The bill has been approved at the committee level and has been submitted for plenary discussion. – Rimaliza A. Opiña