By Myrna M. Velasco
Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and its three Japanese firm-partners have signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the provision of electricity service in the New Clark City.
A statement said that the Japanese companies in the deal are Marubeni Corporation, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., which are all in a tie-up with Meralco for the BDCA venture. Meralco has 60-percent equity in the consortium.
The Pangilinan-led utility firm further indicated that the consortium will be setting up a special purpose company “that will have equity stake equivalent to 90% in a joint venture company to be formed with BCDA.”
Meralco added the joint venture firm “will pursue and undertake the financing, design and engineering, establishment, construction development and operation and maintenance of the electric power distribution system in New Clark City.”
It was in January this year when government-run BCDA had served its notice of award to Meralco and its consortium-partners to be the electricity provider in the New Clark City development, a flourishing ‘smart grid metropolis’ north of Metro Manila.
The New Clark City is also being aligned by the Duterte administration as the next “urban sprawl” akin to the development landscape of the Fort Bonifacio Global City – which is not just a mixed use of residential and commercial establishments but also houses government offices.
Meralco currently has a subsidiary that’s providing electricity service in the BCDA-controlled freeport – that is the Clark Electric Distribution Corporation. And with the newly awarded deal on power distribution to the company, it would be able to expand its electricity service provision in that jurisdiction.
One of the targets for Meralco and consortium partners will be to grow its service reach before the Southeast Asian games this year – in which Clark will be one of the venues of the games and sports competitions.
The utility firm likewise said it has been re-assessing demand growth profile in Clark given all the establishments that have been exponentially rising in the area.
For quite a time, it was indicated that it had been the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and the business process outsourcing (BPOs) industry that had been fueling demand growth in that power service domain of the utility firm.