• Meralco eyes LNG development project

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    Power distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has expressed its interest in a domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) development project, according to its top executive.

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    Meralco President Oscar Reyes told reporters at the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and Associated Meetings that the power company was looking at a gas development project, either a pipeline or LNG.

    Although the publicly listed firm has not yet submitted a proposal to the government, Reyes said “we are to express our willingness and readiness to be part of either the pipe gas or LNG” undertaking in the country.

    “If there’s more pipe gas, either Malampaya or other resources then probably the company should consider that potential because you may only have a limited cap market for pipe gas. With LNG will shut out more pipegas which is a natural resource,” the Meralco top official added.

    Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) crew working on the upgrade of electrical facilities in Silang, Cavite. PHOTO FROM MERALCO’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    Reyes mentioned Meralco is ready “to provide the market for either LNG or pipegas along with the necessary renewable and coal.”

    When asked why the company revived its interest in gas, he said it was never shelved.

    “We’ve always looked at it and we continue to look at it based on prevailing competitiveness in the whole energy mix,” Reyes said.

    Meralco had sought the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)’s approval for building the Tagbac 115 kilovolt (kV) to provide the energy requirements of Solid Cement Corp.

    The new connection line is said to commence its operations by January 2019.

    Reyes said last week Meralco was expecting sales to grow at a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of “six and a half to seven percent” for this year.

    For Meralco, “so far, call it four-and-a-half to five [percent]for this year because we’re doing 4.2 [percent]as of August,” he added.

    The country’s largest power distributor, who named former public works secretary Rogelio Singson as the senior vice president and president and chief executive officer of Meralco Powergen Corp., recorded 4.2 percent growth in sales volume in June from a year ago on robust demand from residential customers.

    Formed in 1919, Meralco’s subsidiaries are in the business of engineering and consulting, construction, bills payments, and other electricity-related services.

    Shares of Meralco closed at P283 apiece last Friday.

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