Meralco investing P154b over the next five years

by Alena Mae S. Flores – November 18, 2015 at 11:50 pm

from Manila Standard

Manila Electric Co., the biggest electricity retailer, plans to invest around P154 billon in the next five years, or until 2020, to expand its distribution and generation business and address the fast-changing needs of customers.

Meralco first vice president and group treasurer Rafael Andrada said in an annual briefing for parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. the investments in the distribution sector alone was estimated to reach P91 billion from 2016 to 2020.

“Over the last six years, we’ve spent about P63 billion in our distribution and in order to meet the ever increasing demand for higher quality and more reliable quality service, Meralco will invest nearly P91 billion in the next five years, again primarily for distribution,” Andrada told reporters.

He said the company was also investing around P68 billion in the generation business during the period.

Meralco, through unit Meralco PowerGen Corp., is developing several power projects, including the 1,200-megawatt coal-fired plant in Atimonan, Quezon province through Atimonan One Energy Inc.

Meralco Power Gen is also a shareholder of San Buenaventura Power Ltd., which is building a 455-MW coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon.

Another Meralco PowerGen-led project is the 600-MW coal fired plant of Redondo Peninsula Energy in Subic.

Meralco PowerGen owns a stake in the 800-MW liquefied natural gas plant in Singapore, as well as the 82-MW coal station in Cebu and another 150 MW in Panay owned by Global Business Power Corp.

The entire portfolio of power generation projects has a total project cost of P440 billion.

Meralco, meanwhile, has invested P63 billion in distribution and P20 billion in generation from 2010 to 2015.

Andrada said the company was making “heavy capital expenditures in power distribution infrastructure and technologies and investments in highly efficient and reliable power generation.”

He said the company aimed to deliver superior value to consumers, the communities it serves and shareholders.

“For 2016 alone, we are earmarking P25.7 billion, 47 percent is allocated for customer and load growth. Customers require higher efficiencies and higher service levels therefore the need also to address reliability and quality parameters in our distribution network [26 percent],” Andarada said.

“The new normal in terms of stronger typhoon and the likes necessitate storm hardening programs [13 percent of total capital expenditures for 2016] and then IT investments [six percent],” he said.

The official said Meralco was building robust platforms and driving technology and digital innovations to further enhance quality service and respond to fast-changing customer needs.

Meralco has over five million customers in its franchise area.