ERC gives NGCP go signal to construct P6.6-billion transmission project in Mindanao

By Lenie Lectura – April 18, 2017

from Business Mirror

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has allowed the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to proceed with its proposed transmission-backbone project in Mindanao costing P6.6 billion.

In a 20-page order, the ERC said NGCP’s application for the approval of the upgrading of the Mindanao 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission backbone project is in accordance with the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

“The approval of the project will redound to the benefit of its customers in terms of continuous, reliable and efficient power supply,” the ERC said.

The total cost of the project is P6,591,741,669.50. It would have two major components. These are the Matanao-Toril-Bunuan 230-kV transmission line and the Baloi-Villanueve-Maramag-Bunuwan transmission line. The NGCP said there is a need to upgrade the existing facility because it could not cater to the full dispatch of additional power-generation capacity coming from new power plants put up in the region.

“Only a limited amount of power can be dispatched in order to maintain the reliability of the system,” it said. Should all the power plants in Southern Mindanao be fully dispatched, NGCP foresees the power plants located in Northern Mindanao cannot be dispatched in their maximum capacity and the Davao-Bunawan transmission line and transformers in Bunawan substation will be overloaded.

The following are the power plants in the northern portion of Mindanao: FDC Corp.’s Units 1-3 (135 megawatt each), which are all under commissioning stage, and GN Power Coal’s 450 MW and 150 MW which have yet to start.

In the scenario all power plants located in Northern Mindanao will be fully dispatched, the NGCP foresees the following  consequences:

The power plants cannot be dispatched in their maximum capacity, the transformers will be overloaded, and there could be voltage violations.

The following are the power plants in Southern Mindanao: Units 3 and 4 (150 MW each) of Therma South, four units (150 MW each) of SMC Davao and two units (105 MW each) of Southern Mindanao.

In its order, the ERC required NGCP to pay a permit fee of P49.43 million.