by Alena Mae S. Flores – December 22, 2015 at 11:55 pm
from Manila Standard
Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power retailer, will spend P17.5 billion to P18 billion next year to maintain and upgrade its distribution network, an official said.
Meralco president Oscar Reyes told reporters the amount would be purely for distribution network and exclude investments in power generation being undertaken by Meralco PowerGen Corp. and other spending in renewable projects.
Reyes said with power demand projected to continue to grow in the next five years, Meralco was preparing the robustness of its network to handle the rising demand.
“Our investment in power distribution will be in the amount of P90 billion from 2016 to 2020,” Reyes said.
“The demand will continue to grow. Basically, demand will probably grow in Luzon by about 250 to 300 MW peak demand per year,” he said.
Meralco earlier disclosed a plan 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 the investments in the distribution sector alone was estimated to reach P91 billion between 2016 and 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 said.
He said the company would also invest 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, the 82-MW coal station in Cebu and a 150-MW power plant 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, 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.”
“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,” Andarada said.