Published February 20, 2017, 10:00 PM by Myrna M. Velasco
Anticipation is high that leadership change is coming for the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), and talks are rife that the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market will likely be having another lady president and chief executive officer.
Speculations scurried following the directive of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to all members of the PEM Board on the submission of their courtesy resignations.
The next board meeting is scheduled February 28, and Cusi has hinted to media to watch out for seismic shifts – but he had gone tight-lipped when asked if it would delve with management changes.
The energy chief said the courtesy resignations of the PEM Board would be “preparatory to the IMO (Independent Market Operator) to make sure that we do a re-alignment,” but he hesitated when pressed on questions if it is about changeover in management. Instead, he told reporters “you just wait for February 28.”
The energy chief just admitted that he has been directing the PEMC-WESM operations audit team to complete their work prior to that date. The engagement of an IMO would finally place WESM’s operations under the private sector’s charge.
Prior to this reported PEMC president replacement, spot market participants also surmised on the possibility of economist Peter Wallace getting appointed. However, it was gathered that the real preference is not him – and Wallace’s involvement in the WESM would just be as ‘independent director’ of the PEM Board.
The presumed PEMC-president-in-the-making is still a neophyte in the energy sector, but she has already been serving the industry in another capacity since the start of the Duterte administration.
PEMC is currently traversing a pivotal transition – with the targeted implementation of the WESM’s new market management system (NMMS) by June this year and the industry’s bid for its management to be already placed under an IMO, an exercise that should have been accomplished since 10 years ago.
The spot market operator is already rushing the establishment of WESM-Mindanao, with it getting patterned to the algorithm and linear programming of the Luzon and Visayas markets. Implementation is eyed around June this year.
Further plans entail injecting escalated market features, including trading of carbon credits, derivatives and financial transmission rights; introduction of forward contracting and futures market as well as other instrumentalities that will be enhancing the interplay of energy and financial markets in the restructured electricity sector.
The WESM was established in June 2006, parallel to the creation of spot markets in Australia and Singapore, but the country’s WESM considerably stagnated due to some political maneuvers on its operations along the way.