by Lenie Lectura, February 9, 2015
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) will undertake major and refurbishment projects in 2016 to address an increasing demand for electricity in its franchise area.
On Monday it asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve its proposed capital expenditure (capex) for regulatory year (RY) 2016 worth billions of pesos.
“ERC approval is needed because capex is part of the Regulated Asset Base [RAB] used for rate setting,” Meralco legal head Wiliam Pamintuan said in a text message.
In its list of major projects for RY 2016, Meralco proposed, among others, a Retail Competition and Open Access Meter Conversion Program worth P1,278,045,286. This is its biggest project for 2016 so far.
The second most expensive project is the expansion of the advanced metering infrastructure to support prepaid electric service worth P781,262,598; followed by the construction of San Jose Delivery Point’s 115 kilovolt (kV) lines worth P580,394,526; the relocation of facilities affected by public-private partnership projects that will cost Meralco P516,477,546; and the development of Lucena 115-kV to 34.5-kV substation worth P478,911,544.
Other projects mentioned in the list include the development of Malacañang’s 115-kV to 34.5-kV General Information Sheet substation worth P435,788,536; construction of BF Parañaque-Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3-Malibay 115 kV line worth P336,277,849; expansion of Masinag 115-kV to 34.5-kV substation worth P214,620,971; advanced metering infrastructure to support postpaid worth P216,490,675.
“Major renewal and refurbishment projects are lined up in RY 2016 to ensure that the distribution system will continue to provide secure, reliable and efficient electric service to our millions of customers amid climate and calamity risks. This will include electric capital projects that are intended to harden and strengthen the network for resiliency to storm and other calamities,” it said in its application. Also part of its RY 2016 projects are the expansion of Bagbaguin 115-kV substation worth P162,580,219; installation of 34.5-kV Metaclad switchgear at Dasmariñas worth P68,161,085; installation of a similar switchgear worth P48,085,691; expansion of Tablang 69-kV substation worth P162,082,948; installation of 34.5-kV switchgear at National Grid Corp. of the Philippines San Jose power transformer worth P63, 122,508; rebuilding of portion of Dasmariñas 115-kV line worth P75,913,229; rebuilding of Laguna International Industrial Park-Balibago 115 kV line worth P35,687,313; cut-in of Pinagbuhatan substation worth P58,635,873, replacement of power transformer worth P52,908,466; installation of spare transformer worth P46,443,027; customer outage portal worth P54,962,212; energy sourcing and risk management worth P97,381,494; acquisition of a next generation firewall worth P63,097,401; acquisition of 115 kV line and switchyard at the Navotas fishport complex worth P118,478,179; replacement of call center system worth P120,418,762; construction of a Meralco training facility worth P150 million; lot acquisition and new building worth P41 million; and lot acquisition and construction of a business center worth P41 million.