Iloilo biz group welcomes power distributor’s plan for system improvement

Published August 29, 2020, 5:02 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—Major business group Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILED) remains upbeat about the P1.8-billion system upgrade plan of More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), the new power distributor in this city.

One of the substations of More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/MANILA BULLETIN)

“There’s a lot to be done, but we remain optimistic that MORE Power will be able to improve the distribution system,” said ILED Executive Director Francis Gentoral.

ILED previously noted how old power distributor Panay Electric Co. (PECO) failed to implement necessary changes.  In turn, PECO’s alleged failure was seen to have driven investors away from the regional capital of Western Visayas due to unreliable power and the rate per kilowatt hour was not seen s cost-efficient.

Gentoral told The Manila Bulletin that ILED was banking on MORE Power to implement the recommendations made by WSP Global Inc. (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff).

ILED initially commissioned WSP Global Inc. in 2010 to assess PECO’s system and another study in 2018, which was the time when PECO was trying to renew its congressional franchise.

After PECO failed to renew its franchise, and MORE Power took over the power distribution facilities in March 2020, Gentoral said it was now the responsibility of MORE Power to implement the necessary changes.

In the 2010 study, the recommendations included upgrading of sub-station in La Paz district; reconfiguration of distribution network; installation circuit breakers in all distribution feeders; and boost clearances of vegetation to avoid unscheduled power interruptions.

The 2018 recommendations included installation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and new control panels for all substations as well as effective operations and maintenance programs.

MORE Power President Roel Castro assured ILED that the power firm was gradually implementing some of the recommendations and it expects to finish upgrading the system by 2025.  This is expected to boost system capacity and bring down cost of electricity to consumers.