Iloilo City – Striving towards improving the efficiency of Iloilo City’s power sector, MORE Power has embarked on its first major investment critical to the modernization of its distribution system.
This was stressed by Enrique K. Razon, Jr., chairman and president of Prime Strategic Holdings, Inc., major shareholder of MORE Power, following the energization of the 10MVA mobile substation over the weekend at Iloilo Business Park at Megaworld in Mandurriao District here.
“The 10MVA mobile substation is not only a behemoth power-provider on wheels, but also the answer to the ever-present danger of overloading of the Mandurriao substation,” he said.
In recent months, despite having completed the comprehensive preventive maintenance on all its five substations, MORE Power has had to deal with trying to prevent overloading of its substations. Time and again it had warned of the Mandurriao substation working at critical levels reaching up to 90-95%.
With the mobile substation, the Mandurriao substation is expected to perform at a safer 70% capacity.
“The mobile substation will increase the capacity of the Megaworld area–one of Iloilo’s fastest-growing areas–by 6-8 megawatts. Moreover, it will decongest the Mandurriao substation, whose usage has gone beyond safe levels, and will result in fewer outages,” Razon said, adding that the powering on of the mobile substation is the utility’s first major step towards doubling Iloilo City’s power capacity within the next five years.
“This, indeed, is a considerable investment on the part of MORE Power, but it is an investment needed to enable the utility to adapt to new challenges and maintain its system resiliency and reliability,” he said.
Scoring the “decrepit and antiquated” distribution grid of Iloilo City under the city’s previous distribution utility, Panay Electric Company, Razon vowed that MORE Power will modernize the system to give Iloilo City a world-class power distribution network.
“Decades of neglect and mismanagement have led to this, but we will give Iloilo City a stable, safe, reliable, and economical power supply,” he said.
Describing Iloilo City as one of the country’s leading destinations for investments with its robust economy, demographic growth, and resilient institutions focused on strengthening infrastructure and employment, Razon said the city is seen as an attractive destination for long-term investments and therefore requires a sufficient availability of power and an equally resilient distribution system for economic development.
“We need to focus on further improving and modernizing the distribution system to energize the city’s economic growth and support the local government’s agenda to attract investments, drive up job creation, as well as improve the living conditions of its residents,” he said.
Razon also disclosed that MORE Power will allocate around P2 Billion as emergency capital budget to further upgrade the distribution system here.
“Within the next five years MORE Power will be embarking on a ‘stream of capacity expansion’ that will see the addition of a 30MVA mobile substation, a new 50MVA substation at another end of Iloilo Business Park, and new substations in Arevalo District and Diversion area as well as the expansion of the City Proper and Jaro substations,” Razon declared.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, during the inauguration recently stressed that the mobile substation is a significant addition in the rehabilitation and upgrading of Iloilo City’s distribution system.
“We aspire that the inauguration of your new mobile station serves as another opportunity to calibrate your strategies towards a better served Iloilo City. Rest assured that DOE is always your partner in the energy distribution development. You can always count on our support in your future endeavors,” Cusi said adding, “We acknowledge your efforts to upgrade the facilities and equipment in your franchise area as well as your ongoing programs to minimize power interruptions, reduce systems loss, and for keeping the consumers promptly informed through its social media, radio advisories, recorrida, press releases and other public service programs.”
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, meanwhile, said the 10MVA substation will not only provide the Megaworld with a larger capacity to service its power needs, but also ‘breathing space’ for two substations: the Mandurriao substation and to some extent, the Molo substation.
“We are grateful for MORE Power’s dedication to provide the best quality of service for the Ilonggos. Let us continue to be more understanding, and soon, Iloilo City will have the best supply of electricity for all,” he said.
For his part, Roland Tiongson, first vice president of Megaworld Premier Offices, hailed MORE Power’s installation of the mobile station at the Megaworld area stating, “This is a major and welcome development at Iloilo Business Park to ensure stability in its power supply requirements. As we open more BPO companies in the township, we expect a continuing surge in the demand for 24/7 power for our office towers aside from the current requirements of the already existing mall, hotels, and residential condominiums in the area.”