Meralco unit stops work on power projects

Published March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

The power generation investment unit of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has temporarily stopped “site activities” on the various power projects that it has been advancing to construction phases, including its solar installation in Bulacan province.

Meralco PowerGen (MGen), in a statement to the media, has indicated that among its projects affected are the proposed coal-fired power plant of Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E) in Quezon province; and the Power Source First Bulacan Solar Inc. in San Miguel, Bulacan.

MGen said site activities of its project companies have been suspended Wednesday (March 18), citing mainly the two power plant ventures.

For the San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL) facility, which is its joint venture with Thai firm EGCO, the company said “a skeleton workforce continues to operate the 500MW power plant in Mauban, Quezon.” It feeds its electricity generation into the main power grid of Luzon.

MGen President and Chief Executive Officer Rogelio L. Singson noted that as the company recognized the seriousness of the health cataclysm posed by the novel corona virus (COVID-19), “we at MGen put utmost importance to the health and safety of all our employees, partners and stakeholders.”

Amid the 30-day community quarantine enforced for Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, MGen spotlighted the need “to ensure availability and delivery of stable and reliable supply to electricity consumers.”

Further, the company announced that even its subsidiaries “banned all non-essential travels to and from the power plant sites in Bulacan and Quezon.”

Singson stressed “we acknowledge the challenge we are facing now, and we are committed to support the government and the private sector in fighting this pan¬demic.”

The Meralco firm nevertheless guaranteed that it has a business continuity plan (BCP) and other key safety measures “to ensure that despite halt on site activities, all mission-critical activities will continue.”

In particular, the company indicated that employees at its main office in Pasig City had been instructed to work from home (WFH), which is the instituted arrangement now for most businesses and government offices in the country.

Singson also previously told media that for its solar projects, delivery of key materials (such as solar panels) had encountered delays because of the wallop of the coronavirus that started in China in January.