DAVAO Light and Power Co. (DLPC), the third-biggest privately owned power distribution utility in the country, is seeking regulatory approval for up to P2.36 billion for its capital expenditure projects covering five years ending in 2022.
In its filing with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the Aboitiz-led company classified its proposed budget as mostly network-related expenditure, including substation and line expansion projects.
“Projects on DLPC’s distribution system are necessary to address the needed capacity upgrades to accommodate increasing demand, prevent overloading, as well as improve safety and reliability of the system,” the company said.
DPLC, a unit of publicly Aboitiz Power Corp., is seeking provisional authority from the ERC to implement its proposed projects ahead of the regulator’s final approval of its application.
“Other projects are necessary to comply with local ordinances. Furthermore, various projects are necessary for DLPC to accommodate new customer applications,” it said.
Of the items being sought for ERC approval, the biggest allocation will go to a 13.8 kilovolt (kV) underground distribution system at P228 million, which the company plans to spend between 2018 and 2021.
The second biggest expenditure item is the upgrade of its P. Reyes substation at P161 million. The upgrade involves the purchase and installation of an additional unit of a 50 MVA power transformer, construction of three bays 69 kV breaker-and-a-half scheme, laying of power cables, and acquisition and installation of associated materials and equipment in the substation.
DLPC is the grantee of a legislative franchise under Republic Act No. 8960 to construct, operate and maintain an electric light, head and power system in the cities of Davao and Panabo, and in the municipalities of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio Dujali in the province of Davao del Norte.
The company is required to provide distribution services and connections to its system for any end user with its franchise area. It shares in the objectives of RA 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, to ensure the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electricity.
In the event that the various capital expenditure projects are not implemented, DLPC said certain facilities “may be rendered obsolete, which could lead to power interruptions or delay in accommodating the additional load coming from existing and new customers.”
“These negative consequences, which are detrimental to the livelihood and everyday lives of DLPC’s customers, may be tempered by the immediate implementation of the instant [capital expenditure projects,” the company said.
In reply, the ERC said it found DLPC’s application to be sufficient in form and in substance. It said the expository presentation, pre-trial conference and presentation of evidence on March 6, 2019 in the agency’s Mindanao office in Davao City. — Victor V. Saulon