Razon firm’s P1.8B upgrade of Iloilo electric facilities on track
Enrique Razon Jr.-owned MORE Electric and Power Corp. — the new power utility in Iloilo City— has made “substantial progress” in upgrading the city’s electricity distribution system two months after unveiling its equipment upgrade program.
MORE Power president and COO Ruel Castro said in a statement that the company has so far upgraded 51 distribution transformers, replaced 51 broken electric poles and fixed 97 hotspot connectors in recent weeks.
The utility company is spending P1.8 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade Iloilo City’s power distribution system in the next three years as part of its program to improve electricity supply, lower the monthly bill of residents and improve its capacity to handle bigger demand from consumers and industries in the coming years.
MORE Power also took steps to lower the monthly bills of its customers by reducing system losses which hit 9.03 percent last year, of which 6.5 percent is shouldered by regular customers.
Castro said technical experts have advised MORE Power that this level of system losses indicate the possibility of as many as 20,000 illegal connections in Iloilo City that remain untraced.
The new utility inherited the role of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) after it took over the distribution system as the new congressional franchise owner.
Castro said a technical study of the distribution system conducted by PECO’s sister firm, Miescor, revealed that immediate preventive maintenance work or upgrades on almost all of the city’s distribution equipment are needed.
Many of these facilities remain manually operated, having been installed as far back k as the 1950s.
Miescor also revealed that 9,000 hotspot connectors need to be upgraded or replaced to prevent systemwide damage. Four of the five power substations were found to carry over 90 percent load, compared to the prescribed maximum safe level of only 80 percent.
“If we will not do anything to fix these substations, one day one of these substations will fail and may cause a bigger problem,” Castro said.
MORE Power also replaced all the switchboards and transformers in all the five substations, almost 400 distribution transformers, thousands of poles, and 15,000 electric meters in all the residences and business establishments.
It has plans to put up two new substations and a mobile substation to meet the projected increase in electricity consumption as the city’s economy grows in the coming years.
“MORE Power will give Ilonggos lower electricity bills and meet its growing economy’s needs. We are here to be Iloilo City’s partner in its growth,” Castro said.
Edited by TSB
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