The AboitizPower-led Davao Light and Power Co. (Davao Light) sees bright prospects in its franchise area in the next three to five years as robust economic growth continues to spread across the country.
Davao Light forecasts to grow its peak demand from 421 MW in 2018 to 546 MW by 2023, which the distribution utility attributes to the growth in real estate businesses, sprouting huge universities, commercial complexes, and business process outsourcing offices.
Apart from this, Davao posted an impressive double-digit economic growth of 10.9 percent in 2017, the highest in the region’s history, which can be attributed to the positive performance of the service and industry sectors.
“We expect to serve more customers from these industries this year, especially in light of the government’s Build, Build, Build program. The construction boom in the city is a win-win for all sectors,” said Davao Light Director, President, and Chief Operating Officer Rodger S. Velasco.
Among the utility’s big customers coming in between 2019 and 2021 are several residential buildings, a hotel, a business park, a multipurpose indoor arena, a factory, and schools.
For this year alone, Davao Light’s franchise area will welcome two manufacturers, a mall, a food complex, a business park, and real estate development.
The utility also sees an increase in annual MWh sales from 2,468,191 MWh in 2018 to 3,137,336 MWh in five years. By 2023, Davao Light also estimates to grow its customer base to 504,911 customers from 404,574 last year.
To keep up with the development within the respective franchise areas of its utilities, AboitizPower has set aside P3.1 billion in 2019 to modernize its existing distribution assets across the country in the next few years.
“We want to take advantage of the robust economic growth in our franchise areas by making sure power is delivered to our customers reliably, sustainably, and at the most cost-effective way. The initiatives we have mapped out for this year and beyond are part of our effort to become world-class and the best at what we do,” said Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, EVP and COO of the AboitizPower Distribution Group.
Part of this modernization program is the construction of facilities in Davao Light’s franchise area that will add 424 MVA in transformation capacity, further improving network efficiency and reliability.
The Davao-based utility is also set to string a total of 228 circuit kilometers of combined sub-transmission and backbone distribution lines to reinforce the existing system. To help improve its efficiency, Davao Light will also implement distribution automation and its advanced distribution management system.
In terms of reliability, Davao Light reduced the average duration of power interruptions a customer experiences in a year from 315 minutes in 2017 to 301 minutes in 2018, which can be attributed to faster response time on the utility’s end. However, the average number of interruptions a customer experiences increased from 4.4 in 2017 to 5.2 in 2018, mainly due to ongoing construction works in the city, which affect the utility’s distribution lines.
Davao Light is the third largest privately owned electric utility in the country. It holds the franchise for distributing electric power to Davao City as well as Panabo City and the municipalities of Carmen, Dujali, and Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte.
AboitizPower is currently one of the largest electricity distributors in the Philippines with ownership interests in seven distribution utilities including the second and third largest in the country. The distribution subsidiaries of AboitizPower include Visayan Electric Company in Cebu and Cotabato Light and Power Co. in Cotabato, among others.
Through the Aboitiz Group, AboitizPower has more than 80 years of experience in the Philippine power distribution sector and has been known for innovation and efficient operations.