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Meralco ventures overseas

Meralco Electric Co. wants to spread its wings abroad and is going one-on-one against a Chinese group for the chance at a power distribution concession in the West African capital of Accra.

According to Ghana’s Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Meralco submitted last week one of only two bids for the contract to manage, operate and invest in the Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd.’s (ECG) distribution business.

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The other surviving bidder is BXC Company Ghana Ltd., a seasoned power industry contractor operating in the African country and whose parent firm is Beijing Xiaocheng Technology Stock Co. Ltd.

Two other consortia took part in prebidding processes but did not submit proposals, the deadline for which was on March 26, 4 p.m. Ghana time, which is eight hours behind Philippine time.

These two groups are the CH Group (Ghana)/ EDF SA/LMI Holdings/Veolia SA consortium, and the Tata Power Co. Ltd. (India)/CDC Group Plc (United Kingdom).

The MiDA said in a statement the proposals were opened in the presence of the representatives of the two bidding groups.

“The proposals will be submitted to an independent evaluation panel composed of local and international experts,” the agency said.

“MiDA expects the panel to complete evaluations of the proposals by mid-April 2018,” it added.

By Sept. 6 this year, MiDA expects to have reached financial closing as well as the following milestones—negotiations with the preferred bidder, a Cabinet review and recommendation of the concession agreement, and parliamentary ratification of the such agreement.

According to MiDA, the bidding of concession to run ECG is part of the Ghana Power Compact II Program, which seeks “to address the root causes of unavailable and unreliable power supply which plagues the country’s power sector and slows economic growth.”

In a statement last year, MiDA chief executive Owura Sarfo said the goal of the exercise was “to procure a concessionaire who would not only inject the required financial investments ECG needs, but also introduce modern technology and efficiency strategies that would turnaround the operational and financial fortunes of ECG.”

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TAGS: Business, Meralco Electric Co.
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