The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has spent Php10.9 billion in capital expenditures (capex) in the first three quarters of the year, spurred by the easing of quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The said amount represents 88% of its earmarked capex for 2020, many of which were spent with the resumption and fast-tracking of activities following the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine, according to MERALCO First Vice President and head of networks Ronnie Aperocho.
He added that despite the pandemic, a total of 600 poles were relocated in connection with the government’s major infrastructure projects. These include the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road, Light Railway Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension, Metro Rail Transit Line 7 , Skyway Stage 2 Extension and Stage 3, C5 South Link, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway among others.
MERALCO, the country’s largest power distributor, also implemented emergency capex programs such as installations of transformer load monitoring equipment and accelerated distribution transformers. This was in response to the increase in household electricity demand and higher residential sales volume due to work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and online learning for students.
The utility giant also said that it improved distribution transformer load by installing 330 distribution transformer monitoring equipment into its system.
The company was also able to put up a new 150-megavolt ampere transformer bank last September in a bid to resolve critical overloading of transformer banks in its Malolos substation, which services Bulacan and eastern Pampanga.
MERALCO likewise completed the 115-kilovolt San Mateo-Diliman-Marikina line, a new eight-kilometer sub-transmission line backbone stretching from Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to the Batasan-San Mateo Road in the vicinity of the tri-boundary of Quezon City, Marikina City, and San Mateo, Rizal. The said line, which will serve the San Mateo substation, would be completed by the second quarter of 2021.