New central Negros power distributor seen to start operation by Q3

Posted by watchmen
May 23, 2024


Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC), the joint venture partner of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco), is expected to start operation by the third quarter this year after the Senate approved its franchise on the third and final reading on Monday, May 20.

“The earliest would be about a month and a half, the fastest from today. [It] could go to about three months. There are still many things that are not within our control,” NEPC president and chief executive officer Roel Castro said in a press conference on Tuesday night, May 21.

Its franchise under House Bill (HB) 9805, supported by 22 senators, allows NEPC to establish, operate and maintain a distribution system for supplying electric power to end-users in six localities through a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Ceneco, with a target investment of about P2.1 billion.

The coverage area includes the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, and Bago, and Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto towns.

After the approval of the Senate, HB 9805 will be submitted to the Office of the President for signing into law, or it could lapse into law after 30 days, followed by publication in major dailies within 15 days.

After that, it becomes effectively a law, Castro said.

He added NEPC will also apply for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“I don’t know how long will ERC grant that. That is the official milestone, wherein it could say that NEPC could already operate in the franchise area,” he said.

Castro said that even before Day 1 of their operation, they started to deploy five response teams in this city and set up a temporary office with about 250 workspaces.

“Out of the 400 plus employees of Ceneco, about 220 or 230 have already expressed their intention to join [NEPC]. We have already somehow slotted them in. The process of employment will happen soon. That’s something we have to coordinate with Ceneco,” he said.

Castro reiterated they aim for “better service” for consumers by putting up “cutting-edge and top-of-the-line systems” for power supply distribution.

“Capital-wise, it’s not a question because we’ve already set aside over P2 billion for the execution of the joint venture and capital expenditures program for Ceneco,” he added.

In a previous statement, Castro said NEPC’s joint venture with Ceneco involves “rehabilitating and modernizing the distribution system, which is deemed crucial in providing quality service to our consumers.”

Over 55 percent of Ceneco consumer members ratified the JVA during a plebiscite between June and August last year. (PNA)


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