Power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) increases its overseas affiliations through a second partnership in Nigeria and the introduction of its payment services in Indonesia.
Meralco sealed its second Nigerian partnership after Lagos-based Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) offered a technical partnership with the local distribution utility.
“Following our performance and the feedback other utilities have gotten, we had been invited by Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to provide the same type of technical partnership and service, basically advisory and support services to Port Harcourt. In fact, they wanted more extensive arrangement,” President Oscar Reyes said.
Meralco’s first expansion in Nigeria was formalized in November 2013 after taking over Ibadan Electricity Distribution Co. (IBEDC). This partnership was done together with its partner, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd.
Distinct to its partnership with IBEDC, Meralco’s terms with PHED will only cover technical support as it needs to canvass the company’s regulatory environment first and wait for its approval from regulatory officials.
“In the same way, similar with Ibadan Electric, they have given us the option for equity. But what we have done so far is limit ourselves to technical partnership because we want to see performance in certain commitments by the regulators such as tariff reform, power supply and security,” Reyes said.
IBEDC and PHED were previously run by the Nigerian government before being acquired by Meralco. Both companies provide power to over eight regions in the West African state.
Bayad Center in Indonesia
On the other hand, Meralco hopes to introduce its payment solution platforms to Indonesia as part of its partnership with Japan-based Densan System Co. Ltd.
Earlier this year, Densan became a stakeholder in Meralco’s own payment center, CIS Bayad Center Inc., which has been around since 1997.
“So we are looking forward for the opportunity of this entry into Bayad Center, being a vehicle for us to jointly look at opportunities in other countries in the region, Indonesia and other countries. Under principle, [this is a] growth potential for Bayad Center,” the Meralco official said.
Densan and Meralco looked into other ASEAN neighbors including Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, but Indonesia was proclaimed as the one with the biggest potential for market acquisition.
“We have to start working. We have to study the market. We haven’t set a timeline but the sooner, the better,” he added.