Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Consortium to build smart grid for new Philippines city

Steve Rogerson
April 16, 2019



Japanese trading house Marubeni is leading a consortium building a smart electricity grid on a former US air base in the Philippines.
 
The company is partnering Kansai Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power and Manila Electric, also known as Meralco, the biggest power distributor in the Philippines, to participate in the smart grid business at New Clark City (NCC) in the Philippines.
 
The smart grid business comprises electricity distribution and the provision of an efficient power supply system through the real-time use of accumulated power consumption data collected by smart meters installed in homes, offices and factories, in addition to the power distribution business.
 
In the Philippines, the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) is developing an environmentally-friendly smart city on the vacant land formerly used as the Clark US Air Force Base roughly 120km north-west of Metro Manila.
 
NCC has been nominated as one of the national projects whose goal is to seek solutions for problems facing Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, such as traffic jams and high population density. NCC is trying to increase the number of residents of the new city to 1.2 million and create 800,000 employment opportunities by 2065 through the relocation of government facilities, the construction of highways and so on.
 
This project will include the design, construction, operation and maintenance of smart grid facilities in the Philippines and will be the first project of its kind to be conducted in the country.
 
Equity participation in the joint venture company comprises Marubeni 18%, Kansai 9%, Chubu Electric 9%, Meralco 54% and BCDA 10%. It will begin distributing power to NCC. The joint venture will extend the smart grid facilities pursuant to the expansion of the NCC and will contribute to its sustainable development.
 
Marubeni maintains 12GW of net IPP (independent power producer) generation assets across 22 countries. Entering into power-related business in the Philippines in the 1960s, Marubeni began participating in the IPP business beginning in the early 1990s. Marubeni maintains six power generation facilities and 1466MW of net power generation capacity in the Philippines, thus accumulating knowledge and experience in the IPP business.
 
Marubeni says it is striving to expand the community-based electric power service business in the Philippines by using its own knowledge of the overseas power business, Kansai and Chubu’s knowledge of efficient and stable power supply, which they have cultivated in Japan, and Meralco’s experience in the Philippines’ power distribution business.
 
Prior to development, the BCDA created a master plan for urban development jointly with Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (Join), a company established under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism. The environmentally conscious Clark Green City aims to attract the design, construction, operation and management of such facilities and utilities as power, water supply, gas, ICT, transportation, industrial parks, residential commercial facilities, research facilities, universities and hospitals.
 
The city will be developed in four phases to make a large-scale city with a population of 1.2 million by 2065. In this project, the BCDA will provide the permit and licence for the power distribution business and right of way for the installation of substation equipment and distribution networks. Distribution facilities will be gradually improved in accordance with the expansion of urban development.