Published May 30, 2017, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is now at the process of firming up its second technical services venture in Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) in Nigeria, according to company President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar S. Reyes.
This will be its other offshore investment target, with still another one in Indonesia – via its tie-up with Japanese firm Densan System Co. Ltd. on provision of billing and payment services.
The deal with the Japanese firm was firmed up early this month – and that afforded Densan an equity acquisition of 5.0-percent in Meralco’s CIS Bayad Center Inc. for a transaction worth P228 million.
In a press briefing following the firm’s annual stockholders meeting, Reyes also noted that the Nigerian distribution firm has been offering Meralco to take an equity investment, but they opted to confine just extending technical partnership services for the time being.
“Following our performance and the feedback other utilities have gotten, we had been invited by Port Harcourt development distribution company to provide the same type of technical partnership and service – basically advisory and support services,” he said.
Reyes added “in fact, they wanted more extensive partnership arrangement,” but he qualified that there is no firm equity take that is being considered as of latest discussion.
He qualified that the deal will be finalized once the Port Harcourt power utility secures approval from its regulatory authorities.
“At this point, it’s up in the air because as I said, the regulatory process takes some time,” Reyes said, when asked on the timeframe relating to the targeted signing of partnership agreements.
Meralco notably had its first foray in Nigeria on provision of technical services to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company plc. In that venture, the company was also dangled an option for 5.0-percent equity take.