Meralco completes P4.2-B projects in Q1

Published May 10, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has completed P4.2 billion worth of capital expenditure (capex) projects in this year’s first quarter, with the bulk of P3.4 billion funneled to electric capital projects.

The scale of the company’s capital outlay within that three-month stretch was roughly a quarter of the P20 billion capex it earmarked for this year and approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The company said it commissioned at least five substation projects in the first three months of the year. These include the expansion of the San Pablo-2 115 kilovolt (kV)-34.5kV substation in Laguna; the expansion of the Pulilan 69kV-13.8kV substation in Bulacan; expansion of the Light Industry and Science Park (LISP) 115kV-34.5kV gas insulated (GIS) substation in Laguna; replacement of the Tagaytay 115kV-13.8kV power transformer bank no. 1; and the uprating of the Cruz na Daan 69kV-13.8kV substation to 50 megavolt ampere (MVA) facility in Bulacan.

The power utility firm similarly indicated that it installed 78,840 meters and had replaced about 1,950 overloaded transformers within January to March this year.

In line with the country’s ongoing rollout of vaccines, Meralco First Vice President and Head of Networks Ronnie L. Aperocho also noted that the utility firm recently energized Pharmaserv Express in New Marikina subdivision, which serves as vaccine storage.

Another entity the company has been ensuring to have reliable and secure electricity services is the MetroPac Movers Inc. facility in Marikina of its affiliate Metro Pacific Investments Corporation because that is being used by the government as storage of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines already delivered in the country.

Beyond those key projects, the power firm reported that it executed several projects on pole replacements, conductor shielding, meter replacements and substation equipment replacements.

Aperocho further stated that despite the lingering restrictions in mobility, Meralco continues with its commitment to support the country’s Build, Build, Build (BBB) infrastructure development program, which required the relocation of at least 225 electrical poles in the first quarter.

Additionally, the power firm needed to relocate additional 128 poles relative to the various road widening projects being carried out by the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Aperocho emphasized that “capex projects were carried out with much caution and in full compliance with mobility and access policies,” as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) that has been manning quarantine protocols relative to the Covid-19 response of the government.

Meralco thus noted that given the prevailing restraint on mobility, “the value of completed projects was lower that the pre-pandemic numbers.”