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NGCP ‘on track’ with planned IPO

NATIONAL Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is on schedule with its planned initial public offering (IPO), it said on Wednesday, shortly after the energy regulator gave the privately led company a six-month extension to complete its listing requirements.

“We are on track with our planned listing. We will inform the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) of the developments, in line with its directive for us to submit a monthly compliance report,” NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza told BusinessWorld in a Viber message Wednesday.

The ERC order was issued on March 10.

In a briefing with reporters on Wednesday, Ms. Alabanza said that NGCP has been preparing for the listing even before the pandemic.

“This is something we’ve been doing for quite a while. We’ve [been] preparing for it as early as 2010, so we will just make sure that we will comply with the ERC order,” she said.

The company earlier asked the ERC for an extension of its IPO deadline, explaining that market conditions were unsuitable for the listing.

In its order, the ERC said NGCP failed to establish why the pandemic is deemed unsuitable for IPOs, since two companies — grocery retailer MerryMart Consumer Corp. and internet service provider Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc. — were able to hold public offerings at the height of the pandemic and lockdown, which were well-received by the public.

Citing BDO Capital and Investment Corp. President Eduardo V. Francisco, the ERC estimated the value of NGCP’s planned IPO shares to be at around $1 billion. He was the expert witness whom NGCP asked to support its appeal for an IPO extension.

The ERC added the transmission service provider had begun complying with its IPO requirements and “only needs to complete the process.”

Separately, NGCP said in a press release on Wednesday that there were fewer tripping incidents recorded across the three major island grids last year, compared with values recorded in 2008, or just after the consortium behind it won the 25-year concession in 2007 to operate the country’s power transmission network.

In the Luzon grid, tripping incidents were down by 76% to 0.932, from the 3.985 recorded in 2008. The Visayas grid reported a decline of 92.6% to 0.335 last year, from 4.542; while the Mindanao grid logged a 93.6% drop to 0.504 in 2020, compared to 7.951.

“The FOT (frequency of tripping) is the most tangible proof of our performance felt by end users. Our improved numbers are attributed to the continuous improvement and upgrading projects such as wood pole replacement, substation additions, capacitor bank projects, and new transmission lines, effectively reinforcing the stability and reliability of the grid in any condition,” NGCP said.

The FOT measures the number of times high-voltage transmission lines had tripped or experienced forced outages for every 100 circuit kilometers.

NGCP added that it had improved the grid’s capacity to mitigate the effects of power interruptions last year, citing indicators such as system availability (SA) and the system interruption severity index (SISI).

“In 2020, Luzon’s SA scored 99.208%, Visayas at 99.764%, and Mindanao at 99.736%. For the SISI, Luzon only recorded 0.869 system minutes of interruptions in 2020 compared to 9.537 in 2008; 10.010 from 83.559 in Visayas; and 9.124 from 10.434 in Mindanao,” the firm explained. — Angelica Y. Yang

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