Summer, Solaire opening seen to spur electricity demand
MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) expects electricity sales volume to grow 4.5 percent in the first half this year because of summer-induced demand and the opening of a big gaming complex, a top company official said.
“We are hoping to see this year, with the continuous growth of the economy, around 4.5-percent [sales growth] for the first half. We hope with the summer months, growth will pick up,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said.
He said all sectors – industrial, commercial and residential – are expected to register stronger demand because of the summer months as more consumers use air-conditioning units to cope with the warmer weather.
The opening of Solaire, port tycoon Enrique Razon’s hotel-casino complex at the much-touted Entertainment City, is also expected to boost growth, Reyes said.
Solaire is set to open on March 16, the first to open among the four casino resorts at the Entertainment City in Paranaque. The Entertainment City is a grand 100-hectare Las Vegas-style casino complex that hopes to boost the gaming industry in the country.
Reyes said the industrial sector is also expected to continuously post strong demand.
“The industrial sector continues to be fairly healthy. The two other segments (commercial and residential) have good growth, too. The residential is heavily driven by temperature and we have fairly cool temperature this year compared to last year,” Reyes said.
Meralco reported that it surpassed its P16-billion core net income target last year, thanks to higher electricity sales.
Core net income last year reached P16.265 billion, higher than the P14.9 billion recorded in 2011, reflecting a ninepercent growth.
Meanwhile, the company’s net income grew a faster 29 percent to P17 billion, Meralco said in an earlier statement.
“The higher revenue is attributable to the seven percent increase in volume over the 30,592 gigawatt-hour (gwh) record in 2011 sales and the higher generation charge, which were partly mitigated by lower Meralco distribution rate and transmission charge to customers,” it said.