US-based utility PECO has announced that will invest approximately $400m in its power and gas operations in 2009 for infrastructure improvements and new facilities to improve service reliability, field productivity and system performance, as well as investments to improve energy efficiency at several company facilities.

PECO has said that its operational and strategic projects will provide a significant boost to the Greater Philadelphia economy based on an estimated 1,100 jobs and purchase of materials and services.

Overall, the capital program consists of mainly transmission and distribution system performance work, capacity upgrades, corrective maintenance programs, relocation of utility facilities for public roadway or other projects, and new facilities to accommodate new residential, business or institutional construction.

The company has said that about $142m is allocated for the projects to modernize or replace older facilities and expand electric and gas capacity in certain communities due to increased energy consumption and local growth.

Craig Adams, senior vice president and COO of PECO, said: Whether it is a down economy or a growing one, PECO must fulfill its obligation to our customers and this region with investments in infrastructure improvements, new technology, and projects to ensure safe, reliable service.