Meralco expanding network in Zamboanga


Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is expanding its network in Mindanao via its planned entry into Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc.

It was gathered that both Meralco and the Aboitiz Group are interested in the Investment Management Contract (IMC) that the government, via the National Electrification Administration (NEA), has been offering for the Zamboanga City power utility.

The entry of deep-pocketed private investors in ZAMCELCO is also one of the most-awaited developments of power project developer Alsons Power Group for its planned 105-megawatt San Ramon coal-fired power facility in the area.

Alsons Power chief executive officer Tirso G. Santillan told reporters that the off-take of their plant’s capacity had been among the concerns that they would want sorted out with the planned IMC for ZAMCELCO.

The investment template reportedly being followed by Meralco for the Zamboanga power utility has been its recent entry into the Pampanga Electric Cooperative II in Central Luzon.

In a text message, NEA Administrator Edita S. Bueno has noted that “the terms of reference for ZAMCELCO’s IMC is still being done by its (ZAMCELCO) consultant.”

She emphasized that once formalized, said document will have to be submitted by the electric cooperative’s board to NEA for its approval.

“Once approved, the process will begin. We expect this to be done within this year and before the year ends,” Bueno said.

Meralco has long indicated plans of scouring for opportunities beyond its power distribution foothold in the Luzon grid, including prospects in Mindanao.

Its strategy has been focused more on equity acquisitions or investment entry via government-underpinned privatization program for ECs including the investment management contracts.


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