Cusi seeking China’s help in Mindanao link-up

by Alena Mae S. Flores – May 21, 2017 at 08:10 pm by 

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department is seeking cooperation with its Chinese counterpart to assist in the crafting of the country’s transmission and distribution network development, including Mindanao.

“What we would like to do and something that we discussed with my counterpart in China is to assist us in the transmission development in Mindanao, including the distribution,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

He confirmed talks with State Grid Corp. of China and National Energy Administration of China. State Grid owns 40 percent of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, which operates the country’s transmission network.

Cusi said Mindanao’s energization level was just 74 percent, making it important for the government to expedite the transmission and distribution development, including the planned Visayas-Mindanao interconnection project.

“At least we are hopeful, we announced that the interconnection with the last meeting with NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) is 2020. We are hopeful that we can do it earlier, we are just finishing the work that we need to do,” the energy chief said.

Cusi said government had not decided if it would build the Vis-Min interconnection project, or allow National Grid to pursue it.

“Whatever is the fastest means to do it, we will do it… At the least cost to lessen the burden to consumers,” he said, adding that the government could also tap the Malampaya fund.

National Grid has  submitted its Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project application to the Energy Regulatory Commission in compliance with the government’s directive.

The project, initially estimated to cost P52 billion, will allow power-sharing between Visayas and Mindanao once completed.

Initial findings indicate that the most viable route should begin in Cebu and terminate in Dipolog.

Subsequent preparations were made to include the conceptual design, detailed cost-estimate, and update of the system simulation study using the Cebu-Dipolog route in the ERC application, while inland and route surveys for substations and overhead transmission lines were being conducted.