Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has asked the Energy Regulatory Commission to approve its P6.1-billion capital expenditure (capex) program for next year.
The P6.1 billion will be used to finance 27 projects to upgrade distribution facilities, including a P1.27 billion meter conversion program that will allow customers to pre-pay their electricity use.
Meralco’s projects range from building substations to setting up switchgears, distribution lines and transformers in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The big chunk of Meralco’s Capex will be allocated to the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) Meter Conversion Program with over P1.27 billion budget. Being the default metering services provider for the contestable market, Meralco said there is a need to replace existing meters with time-of-use (TOU) capable meters.
Among the major projects of Meralco for 2016 include the construction of San Jose Delivery point’s 115 kV lines with a total budget of P580.39 million; development of Lucena 115 kV-34.5 kV substation (P478.911 million) and development of Malacañang 115 kV-34.5 kV GIS substation (P435.78 million), among others.
Meralco also allocated P516 million for the relocation of facilities affected by Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects.
Meralco said they need to implement the huge capex to meet increase in peak demand and additional customer connections and at the same time maintain the reliability and power quality of its distribution system.