Meralco looking to partner with Nigerian DU

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Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is looking into a technical partnership with a distribution utility (DU) in Nigeria, its top official said.

“There’s another distribution utility in Nigeria who asked us to be their technical partner as well. This will be in addition to Ibadan,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said.

In November 2013, Meralco and partner Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd. took over the operations of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc.

The consortium chose Meralco as technical partner for the Ibadan power firm and Yola Electricity Distribution Co. Plc., both privatized by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Meralco already has a five-percent equity in IEDM and can raise its stake to 20 percent.

Reyes said the partnership could potentially happen this year, as the company is looking for other DUs overseas to give technical expertise in distribution.

“In terms of DU (acquisition), actually, it’s low investment, it’s mainly people. The reason we’re having a DU, look at other areas is because it provides pipeline opportunities for people of Meralco as well as graduates of engineer who may be enticed to take up electrical engineering which has been declining in terms of number of students, we’d like to revive that,” he said.

The power retailer has a 70-percent stake in GMR Energy in Singapore’s 800-megawatt (MW) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

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