E.R.C. okays NGCP facility upgrade to avoid Mindanao power crisis

by Lenie Lectura – December 22, 2015

from Business Mirror

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has secured the green light from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to pursue an upgrading project that would help alleviate the power crisis in Mindanao.

In a 10-page order, the ERC approved the application of NGCP for the Agus 2 Switchyard Upgrading project that costs P569,188,814.40.

“The application, filed by the NGCP for approval of the Agus 2 Switchtyard Upgrading Project with prayer for the issuance of a provisional authority, is hereby approved,” the ERC said.

The contract for the supply of materials for the proposed projects will be assigned to qualified suppliers and contractors following a competitive bidding and selection process. The funding will be sourced from NGCP’s internal cash-generated fund.

The upgrading project has two phases. The first phase consists of the renovation and expansion of existing control building, and replacement of obsolete secondary devices and equipment.

The second phase involves civil, mechanical, electrical works.

Hydroelectric power is the main source of electricity in the Mindanado grid, supplied largely by the Agus 1 and 2 hydroelectric power plants (HEPP). The HEPP has a total installed capacity of 260 megawatts (MW). Any outage from any HEPPs or the switchyard itself is very critical to the stability of the power supply in Mindanao.

“The present condition of the switchyard, considering the age of the equipment therein, already manifests deterioration,” the NGCP said.

The grid operator said it experienced difficulties in the maintenance and testing of the secondary equipment located inside the control room of the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

Its personnel must first seek clearance from the Napocor. The difficulty in this arrangement is that the control, protection, and metering wirings are prone to sudden loose contacts and accidental disconnection, making it difficult to perform maintenance activities due to unorganized arrangement inside the control panels.

“This may lead to unfavorable incident and eventually to a significant grid failure. Thus, to address these serious difficulties, all of the secondary devices and control system are proposed to be relocated and housed inside a separate control building of the switchyard,” the NGCP said.