Meralco eyed in Ceza bid to meet hike in power need
SANTA ANA, Cagayan — The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) may tap power distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to ensure a steady power supply for the casino complexes and support facilities operating here.
Meralco offered to supply an estimated 10 to 15 megawatts of electricity which the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) would require this year, Ceza administrator Raul Lambino said in a statement.
“We have received firm assurances that Meralco has the capacity to generate and distribute power necessary to forestall supply shortage at a time when Ceza is anticipating an incoming wave of new locators,” Lambino said.
“This gives us a very positive outlook in the near term,” he said.
Meralco was one of several power generation and distribution firms interested in working with Ceza.
CSEZFP required sustained electricity for Eastern Hawaii gaming facility in Barangay Centro, and for casinos of the First Cagayan Leisure Resort Corp. in Tangatan and San Vicente villages. It also needed power for its main harbor, Port Irene in Casambalangan village.
Another casino complex was being built by a Chinese firm in the former Avalon Resort in Diora-Zinungan.
According to Lambino, the free port was about 100 kilometers from the nearest distribution line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in the province of Cagayan.
Lambino said free port tenants had complained about the unstable power supply in the CSEZFP, which forced scores of locators to keep their own power generator sets on standby.
The Shanghai Grid Electric Power and Technology Co. Ltd. had proposed to put up a 200-megawatt coal power plant, while ECO-GEN Energy Inc. planned to put up hybrid solar and wind generators under a power purchase agreement. —MELVIN GASCON