2 more generators slapped fine for ‘withholding supply’

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LAOAG City, Ilocos Norte: Two more power generators were slapped fines for violating the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) rules on trading electricity supply late in 2013.

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The Philippine Electricity Market (PEM) Board cited state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. and PANASIA Energy, Inc. with undisclosed financial penalties for violating WESM’s “Must Run” and “Must-Offer” rules.

The PEM Board earlier penalized Therma Mobile Inc. (TMO), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. with a P234.9 million fine for a similar offense.

In its investigation, the Enforcement and Compliance Office (ECO) of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) found PSALM and PANASIA Energy breaching the “Must-Offer” rules covering the period of October to December 2013.

ECO particularly investigated PSALM’s 600-megawatt Malaya Thermal Power Plant in Rizal and the 140-MW Casecnan multipurpose hydroelectric power plant in Leyte.

PANASIA Energy runs the 620-megawatt (MW) Limay diesel-fired power in Bataan.
PSALM and PANASIA Energy had asked for a reconsideration but was denied by the PEM Board.

PEMC President Melinda L. Ocampo explained that their investigation only covers possible non-compliance with WESM rules by generation companies.

She said allegations that these generation companies violated the anti-competition rule is a matter to be investigated by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“When it comes to PEMC, our concern is only on breaches in WESM rules but when it comes to the anti- competitive rule, this is for ERC to find out,” Ocampo told reporters on the sidelines of the 2015 WESM lecture series.

She also welcomed moves by the trading companies to consider any possible legal action.
“They have the right whether to elevate it to ERC or they would like to go to the court, that is their right,” she added.

In the case of the TMO, Ocampo said it did not deliver its full capacity, which led to a shortfall in supply and eventually resulted in higher rates at the market.

In a statement, Aboitiz Power said it did not withhold any capacity for the period covered, as it was physically impossible for TMO to transmit more than 100 megawatts (MW) to Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

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