In a groundbreaking achievement for urban infrastructure development, MORE Power’s Underground Distribution Services (UDS) project along JM Basa Street is advancing rapidly, with an anticipated completion date set for June 2024. The civil works, constituting 35% of the project and encompassing dredging and drilling activities, are well underway.
Engr. Armil Logarta, Head of Project Development and Management at MORE Power, affirms that the project, launched on October 10, 2023, is progressing seamlessly according to schedule, with no reported delays to date.
Projected for completion in June 2024, with an additional 2 months allocated for the removal of existing facilities, the UDS initiative spans from the corner of Arroyo St., Aldeguer St., Guanco St., Mapa St., Ortiz St., until Rizal/Zamora St. (Burgos St.) and Libertad Plaza. This encompasses a one-kilometer stretch of Iloilo City’s historic business district, including the heritage zone known as Calle Real.
Engr. Logarta elaborated on the UDS project’s three pivotal phases: Phase 1 involves intricate civil works, Phase 2 centers on electrical works, covering cable laying and termination, and Phase 3 culminates with the removal of existing overhead lines and structures, unlocking the full potential of the UDS project.
The phase 2 or the actual undergrounding of cables is expected to commence in January 2024 and run until June 2024.
Utilizing Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), a cutting-edge method for installing underground utilities and plumbing, the UDS project stands apart from traditional methods by eliminating the need for open trenches. This approach ensures minimal disruptions to the downtown area, with construction activities strategically conducted from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM, contributing to a smoother traffic flow during daytime.
During the May 30, 2023 groundbreaking ceremony, Engr. Bernard Bailey Del Castillo, Vice President for Network Operations, highlighted that the UDS project will eliminate the risks of geckos, birds, and rats approaching overhead lines, ensuring a safer and more reliable electrical infrastructure. This includes resolving the menace of power outages caused by animal intrusion and addressing the annual concern of balloons slipping away during the Dinagyang festival. Additionally, this will also eradicate the need for periodic tree trimming, allowing the trees to grow unhindered.
MORE Power’s President and CEO, Roel Castro, expressed that the UDS project reflects the company’s steadfast commitment to supporting local government initiatives, particularly in preserving the cultural and heritage aspects of the community.
Castro remarked, “I believe there are very few cities in the Philippines that can genuinely boast of having a rich heritage and culture, evident in the edifices and monuments scattered around the city. These structures serve as testaments to the city’s exceptionally rich cultural and historical legacy.”
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas emphasized that the removal of above-ground power lines will notably diminish the risk of accidents stemming from adverse weather conditions, fallen trees, and unforeseen circumstances. This initiative aims to provide uninterrupted power to residences, businesses, hospitals, and schools.
He expressed, “This enhanced reliability will stimulate economic growth, entice new investments, and cultivate a favorable environment for businesses to flourish.”
The Underground Distribution System (UDS) stands as one of the diverse investments that MORE Power has introduced to the City of Love since commencing its operations in 2020.