December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Meralco evaluating participation in Repower hydro projects

MANILA Electric Co. (Meralco) has the option to participate in the next project of Repower Energy Development Corp. after the partners broke ground on two run-of-river mini-hydropower plants in the past six months.

“There are projects that Repower is also looking into and we have the right of first refusal to join them,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Meralco senior vice-president on Friday on the sidelines of BusinessWorld’s Economic Forum at Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City.

“We’re supposed to meet again on the other projects,” said Mr. Panlilio, who is also chairman of Pure Meridian Hydropower Corp. “We’re supposed to have a board meeting and review the other projects.”

Pure Meridian, Meralco’s joint venture company with Repower, broke ground on a 3-megawatt (mW) run-of-river hydro project in Lalawinan, Quezon province.

The first project, the 10.6-MW Pulanai, Bukidnon mini-hydro project, had its groundbreaking in December 2016. The Lalawinan plant is Meralco’s first foray in run-of-river hydropower on Luzon.

Lalawinan is Repower’s third hydropower groundbreaking so far this year. The hydropower unit of Pure Energy. earlier said it was aiming to break ground on two more hydropower projects this year, and 15 more in the next three years.

“They presented ... about five, the last time. We did some assessments. We might not involve ourselves there,” Mr. Panlilio said, describing these as small projects.

“But we’re looking at others,” he added.

He said the projects previously presented to Meralco were similar in size to Lalawinan but the decision not be part of these were because of their viability “based on our assessment.”

“We will continue to work with them as Pure Meridian because we’re really committed to expand our renewable portfolio,” he said. -- Victor V. Saulon