Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said it expects to take over the electricity distribution business of the Electricity Company of Ghana in West Africa next year.
Meralco president Oscar Reyes said negotiations were ongoing, after the company was chosen as the preferred bidder to manage, operate and invest in the ECG privatization process.
The Millennium Development Authority of Ghana earlier announced that the Meralco consortium was determined to have the highest combined technical and financial score, and was therefore designated as the preferred bidder.
MiDA, however, was served with a writ of summons by the BXC consortium, a Chinese Group in April for choosing Meralco.
“We are not tracking the case. Our team has been quiet busy in negotiations to try to put the negotiations to final stages, so that the timetable of basically award and transition can happen potentially by the fourth quarter this year. Actual programming will be next year, but it’s a well run process,” Reyes said.
Meralco senior vice president and head of customer retail services, corporate marketing and communications Al Panlilio said earlier the Ghana bid was for equity ownership and management of the concession company to take over the ECG which supplies 80 percent of the population of Ghana through three million accounts.
Meralco is the country’s biggest power distributor in the Philippines with over six million customers in its franchise area. It already has a stake in a distribution utility in Nigeria, also in West Africa.
Meralco and partner Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd. took over the operations of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc. and Yola Electricity Distribution Co. Plc. in November 2013.
MiDA received two proposals for the concession for the management, operation and investment in the electrical distribution business of ECG from Meralco and BXC Ghana.
The Ghana Power Compact is being undertaken with the support of the Millennium Challenge Corp., which is is helping the government of Ghana transform the power sector through private sector participation and key policy and institutional reforms that will provide more reliable and affordable power to Ghana’s businesses and households.
MCC is supporting the government of Ghana’s efforts to improve the management and efficiency of Ghana’s largest state-owned electricity distribution utility by bringing in a private sector operator to improve overall service quality.
The project includes regional infrastructure investments, integrated power loss management, reduction of distribution system vulnerability to theft and meter manipulation, lower thermal losses and reduction of frequency and duration of outages by introducing improved system protection and sectionalizing devices in the distribution system.