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Power firm to modernize facilities as it eyes growth

The Aboitiz-led Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC) is set to modernize its facilities as its franchise area is expected to hit 30% growth in terms of consumption between 2018 and 2023 to 546 megawatts, the company said in a statement released over the weekend.

Because of the growth expectations, the company said that it has to add new facilities to ensure that it is able to respond to the needs of the franchise area.

The company said it is adding a 424 megavolt-ampere transformation capacity to “further improving network efficiency and reliability.”

It will also set up “228 circuit kilometers of combined sub-transmission and backbone distribution lines to reinforce the existing system,” it added as it is also implementing “distribution automation and its advanced distribution management system.”

Although the company did not mention the total new investments, its mother company, Aboitiz Power Corp. it is setting aside P3.1 billion this year as part of modernizing its distribution assets, including the company.

“We want to take advantage of the robust economic growth in our franchise areas by making sure power is delivered to our customers reliably, sustainably, and at the most cost-effective way. The initiatives we have mapped out for this year and beyond are part of our effort to become world-class and the best at what we do,” said Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer for distribution of the mother company.

The company said its projection, as it registered a peak demand of 421 megawatts last year, is based on “bright prospects in its franchise area in the next three to five years as robust economic growth continues to spread across the country.”

As a result, sales would increase from about 2.4 million megawatt-hours in 2018 to 3.14 million megawatt-hours in 2023, with corresponding customer growth from 404,574 to 504,911.

The franchise area of the company includes the city, the towns of Sto. Tomas, Carmen, Dujali and the city of Panabo in Davao del Norte.

The company also cited the economic performance of the Davao Region in 2017 at 10.9% in gross regional domestic product growth and the 8.6% growth last year, “which can be attributed to the positive performance of the service and industry sectors.”

“We expect to serve more customers from these industries this year, especially in light of the government’s Build, Build, Build program. The construction boom in the city is a win-win for all sectors,” said Rodger S. Velasco, company chief operating officer.

It cited that between this year and 2021, the company will have as new customers “several residential buildings, a hotel, a business park, a multipurpose indoor arena, a factory, and schools.”

This year, it added, its franchise area will have two manufacturers, a mall, a food complex, a business park, and real estate development.

On reliability, the company said it reduced its power outages to 301 minutes last year from 315 the previous year as it attributed this to “faster response time on the utility’s end,” although the number of interruptions per customer went up to 5.2 last year from 4.4 the previous year “mainly due to ongoing construction works in the city, which affect the utility’s distribution lines.”

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