Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said Tuesday the completion of the Hermosa-San Jose transmission line and the onset of the rainy season will help avert power outages this year.
Meralco first vice president and head of networks Ronnie Aperocho said the power outages on May 8 that affected close to 322,000 customers were due to the tripping of transmission facilities that isolated two major power plants in the north with a combined capacity of 680 megawatts.
Aperocho said Meralco is in close coordination with the system operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines in the monitoring of the Luzon grid.
“But as the supply-demand situation normalizes with the onset of the rainy season, we may not expect the same power outages to happen this year,” he said.
Aperocho said NGCP completed and energized the new Hermosa –San Jose 500kV line, a major transmission backbone that will address the N-1 transmission constraints in the area.
The project, which spans the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan, will strengthen transmission services and accommodate new bulk power generation from the Bataan area.
Meanwhile, Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the power generation business would boost the company’s profitability this year after some of its power plants suffered losses in the last year.
“Management has been tasked to look for ways to turn around those losing plants and indeed starting this year, GBP [Global Business Power Corp.] as a whole, and MGen [Meralco PowerGen Corp.] as a whole have already turned positive and are now contributing to Meralco’s bottom line with the end of the fixed-rate contracts,” Pangilinan said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting.
Pangilinan took over as Meralco chairman, president and chief executive effective May 30 with the retirement of Ray Espinosa who served the company since 2019. Espinosa will stay on as part of the Meralco board.
“We should see a significant update in the profits of the generation part of the business. And we saw that in this morning’s board meeting when the results of the generation business were reported to the board. So it will be a good year for the generation business, so I think we need to allay your concerns, and I think in general a good year for Meralco as a whole,” Pangilinan said.
He said the expansion of Meralco subsidiaries both in power and non-power alike is one of the growth pillars of the company’s business prospects.
“With respect to GBP itself I think some of the plants incurred losses in part because of the impact of Typhoon Odette in the Visayas area and the fixed-rate contracts in the height of the global fuel price increases,” Pangilinan said.