By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 12, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the proposal of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to put up a substation at the sprawling Entertainment City of state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
The power sector regulator said it has approved the proposed 115- kilovolt substation (Pagcor-1 substation) since it is in accordance with the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
With the grant of a provisional authority, Meralco would be able to immediately proceed with the project that will serve as a catalyst in the development of the area and a signal for investors that there will be adequate infrastructure to meet their power demands.
“This will enable the developers to proceed with their own undertakings, all in support of the nation’s continued economic growth,” the ERC said.
Meralco senior vice-president and head of customer retail services Al Panlilio has said with increased activities from gaming and other services at the booming 120-hectare Entertainment City, Meralco sees additional revenues once the project is complete.
He said Meralco expects to complete the substation by September 2014.
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The power firm forecasts an additional 41.5 gigawatt-hours electricity usage a month from all four Pagcor licensees once their operations go full blast.
Solaire Resort and Casino, owned by ports magnate Enrique Razon, is projected to consume four gwh per month while Belle Grande, controlled by Henry Sy’s SM Group, needs at least 2.5 gwh monthly.
Manila Bay Resorts of Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment Group is expected to consume 13 gwh initially while property tycoon Andrew Tan’s Travellers International Hotel Group expects its Resorts World Bayshore Casino to use up 22 gwh a month when it opens in 2016.
In its filing with the ERC in May, Meralco proposed to build a P1.15-billion substation.
Meralco said it would need at least 18 months to commission the project. As such, the power utility firm appealed to regulators for a provisional authority (PA) for the purpose.
According to its plan, Meralco plans to put up a 2.4 kilometer, 115-kV substation with two 83 megavolt amperes power transformers.