Right-of-way issue tops NGCP concerns
National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has started the ball rolling for the planned $1-billion interconnection project for electricity transmission between the Visayas and Mindanao, slated to go online by the end of 2020.
NGCP spokesperson Cynthia D. Perez-Alabanza said in an interview that pre-construction activities had been done, but the speed of completing the project would depend on the final route of the needed transmission facilities.
“What would take the longest would be that part concerning right-of-way acquisition,” Alabanza told the Inquirer.
“Earlier studies have determined [an optimally] viable route, but this would still depend on the acquisition process itself,” she said.
Alabanza said linking up the Visayas and Mindanao grids would require 40 kilometers of land facilities in Cebu, 92 kilometers of subsea power lines, and 70 kilometers of land installation in Zamboanga.
Last week, the Energy Regulatory Commission said it had issued an order dated July 11 granting provisional approval for the P51.7-billion project, which would allow the importation of electricity from supply-laden Mindanao to power-hungry Visayas.
“The provisional approval granted to NGCP to implement the project will enable power supply importation among the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grids,” ERC officer in charge Alfredo J. Non said in a statement.
“For instance, the deficiency of supply in Visayas may be supplied by importing power from Luzon or Mindanao,” Non said. “Hence, this [interconnection] will help address the insufficient power supply and will also help optimize the available power supply in the Philippine grid.”
The commissioner added that the project supported the government’s vision of interconnecting the major power grids into a single national grid, which was expected to help improve the overall power supply security in the country as sharing of reserves will already become possible.
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