Meralco allots P24 billion capex for next year

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is allotting over P24 billion in capital expenditures (capex) next year.

Meralco has filed an application with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the approval of its capex program amounting to P24.73 billion for regulatory year 2022, which starts on July 1, 2021 to June 30 next year.

“Primarily, these capex projects for RY 2022 are necessary to avert the foreseen emergency situations and ensure the reliable operation of its distribution network and continuous distribution service and connection to meet the growing needs of its more than seven million customers,” Meralco said in its filing.

The power distributor  forecasts its customer base to expand to more than 7.5 million and peak demand to reach 8,003 megawatts (MW) during the period.

Thus, it needs to increase the capacity of the electric distribution system to accommodate new customer connections while maintaining the reliability and power quality of its system.

“If no capacity augmentation project is undertaken starting July 1, 2021, Meralco would not be able to provide electric service to its existing and new customers,” Meralco said.

The capex program will also cover the maintenance of its existing assets, which include renewal and refurbishments, to upgrade network performance and customer service performance.

Meanwhile, the company has also lined up automation, innovation and technology projects to respond more effectively to line and network outages, which will reduce service interruptions.

Other projects are also for compliance with regulatory requirements and to support government projects.

Under the capex proposal, Meralco is asking the ERC to allow it to build 32 major projects worth P7.95 billion.

The biggest major project covers the development of the Antipolo 230-kilovolt (kV) – 115-kV delivery point substation-phase 2 which amounts to P1.64 billion.

Meralco has also allotted P725.92 million for the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) meter conversion and system support project.

The rest of the major projects include development and expansion of substations, among others.

Meanwhile, Meralco is seeking clearance for 78 residual projects worth P16.77 billion. Residual projects are required to maintain existing assets, improve network performance and enhance customer service performance in the current regulatory period.

In the same application, the power distributor said it shall also refund to customers their payments for projects funded under the Contribution in Aid of Construction scheme.

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