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NEWS UPDATES 10 August 2009

Philippine power giant to enter retail segment

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Philippines’ utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is planning a foray into retail electricity segment, reported the Manila Bulletin.

The daily quoted Meralco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manuel M. Lopez as saying that the company stood by its earlier decision to enter into retail electricity supply with the Power Supply Option Program likely to be implemented next year.

The company is preparing for the advent of open access, or the regime that will finally open up the deregulated power industry into a competitive setting. This will kick off with the big-ticket users, like industries, which will finally have that once-elusive choice on getting their preferred electricity suppliers.

To qualify as a retail electricity supplier (RES), Meralco will need to file its registration with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). RES licensees, which are generally allowed existence of three years, are entities which can sell, broker, market or aggregate electricity to the end-users.

The ERC has yet to decide on when the interim open access (IOA) will finally come into play. The IOA was later renamed Power Supply Option Program (PSOP) to avoid confusion with the legal definition of open access set forth under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).


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