By Emme Rose S. Santiagudo, Correspondent

MORE Electric and Power Co. (More Power), which is poised to take over the power distribution in Iloilo City, has signed another interim power supply agreement (PSA) with one of the country’s largest power producers, Aboitiz Power Corp.

MORE Power President and CEO Roel Z. Castro and AP Renewables, Inc. (APRI) President and Chief Operating Officer Alexander B. Coo signed the contract on Wednesday at the Seda Atria Hotel Iloilo.

The deal will pave the way for 10 megawatts (MW) with an option to add 5 MW of power to be supplied from the clean and renewable power plant of AboitizPower under the company’s Cleanergy brand for one year.

The power will be supplied by APRI, which operates the Tiwi and MakBan geothermal power plants in the provinces of Albay, Laguna and Batangas, respectively.

According to Mr. Coo, AboitzPower’s portfolio of power plants all over the country makes it an ideal partner for More Power and the people of Iloilo City.

“Geothermal power is definitely unique because it is renewable energy yet it can be baseload — meaning, it delivers power 24/7 with a zero carbon footprint. For a growing metropolis like Iloilo City, this makes perfect sense. We are definitely excited to be partners with More Power and even more excited to be part of the growth of Iloilo City,” he added.

Mr. Castro said the partnership with AboitizPower would ensure reliable and consistent power supply, especially with the geothermal power source.

“Among the renewables, geothermal is a more reliable and consistent unlike other sources which are intermittent,” he said.

The brand of AboitizPower as one of More Power’s suppliers is also important, according to Mr. Castro since critics are questioning the reliability of More Power.

“As we would be coming, the name of AboitizPower is important because some people questioned our reliability. If we have Aboitiz, I don’t know who is going to question this,” he said.

Moreover, AboitizPower has also offered one of the lowest price in terms of power supply at P4.27 kilowatt per hour (KWh), according to Mr. Castro.

Last week, More Power also signed an interim power supply agreement with KEPCO SPC Power Corporation (KSPC).

The agreement provides a 5-megawatt supply from KSPC, with the option for another 5 MW. The interim power supply agreement is also good for one year.

With both the AboitizPower and KSPC at P4.27 and P4.665 KWh, Mr. Castro said the blended rate would definitely go down.

Meanwhile, Mr. Castro said they are still eyeing two more power suppliers to meet the current demand of Iloilo City now at 116-120 MW.

“As of now we are looking at the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) and the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC),” he said.

According to Mr. Castro, they are still finalizing the negotiations with GBPC.

“There are ongoing negotiations because we cannot accept their contract with the current distributor. We opt for cheaper rates,” he said.

More Power is signing one-year deals with power suppliers until the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) will be conducted.

The new power firm is aiming to unseat the long-time distributor Panay Electric Co. (PECO) after securing a congressional franchise via Republic Act 11212 last May 14.

Under the law, More Power is allowed to avail of emergency power supply through negotiated procurement, provided this will only be for a period of one year and the rates must not be higher than the latest Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)-approved generation tariff for the same or similar technologies in the area.

The agreement will take effect once More Power begins its operations.