Tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.'s MORE Electric and Power Corp. has earmarked P4 billion to fund the modernization of a Bacolod City-based electric cooperative.
MORE Power president and CEO Roel Castro told reporters on Tuesday they needed around P2 billion to purchase assets for its joint-venture (JV) agreement with Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) and another P2 billion as working capital.
The firm earlier proposed a partnership with Ceneco through sister company Primelectric Holdings Inc. to 'significantly improve' electricity supply in Bacolod City and help avoid power pilferage.
'If you don't start modernizing or changing equipment, you cannot bring in the change for Ceneco because investment is needed to improve the system,' Castro said, adding that his company could not simply replace the electric cooperative due to its 210,000-strong customer base.
According to Castro, Primelectric will help increase Ceneco's operational capacity by 40 percent to improve its services and lessen the incidence of power outages in Negros.
In its recent dialogue with local government officials, MORE Power said Ceneco's stakeholders had argued that the cooperative's efficiency was 'lacking,' as thousands of residents continued to suffer frequent power interruptions.
But before Primelectric could proceed with its modernization plans, the joint-venture agreement still needs to undergo a referendum on June 24 to 25 and July 1 to 2 to seek the support of the majority of Ceneco's members. INQ