ERC okays transmission facility for Aboitiz’s 300-MW Visayas plant

by Myrna Velasco, February 10, 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has provisionally approved the P2.676-billion transmission connection facility that will underpin the wheeling of electricity output of the Aboitiz Group’s 300-megawatt coal-fired power project in the Visayas.

The power plant, to be undertaken by Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of  Aboitiz Power, will have two units at 150MW capacity each. It is expected for completion around 2017.

In the ruling rendered by the industry regulator, it stipulated that “TVI shall enter into an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract with a provider that is known for its technical capability and with a track record.”

It was emphasized that “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, it was specified, shall be “sourced through Therma Visayas, Inc.’s equity and loan.”

The ERC order has further noted that “the proposed development, construction, ownership and/or operation of interconnection facilities by TVI is intended to cater to the direct delivery of the full 300MW capacity of the TVI plant to the grid.”

There have been four options explored as to the point-to-point transmission connection facility’s construction and full implementation.

In the final determination though, it was propounded that the best option will be an installation of “40-kilometer of transmission line from Bato substation directly to Cebu substation.”

It was explained that while this could be “greater in distance and would require a great length of time to complete, this scheme will not require other grid lines to be built or reinforced which will minimize the downtime to the grid.”

Upon completion of the point-to-point connection facility, the ERC has directed that it shall be operated by transmission service provider firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (GNCP), “subject to applicable charges.”

The facilities must also be “developed and constructed in accordance with the System Impact Study (SIS) requirements,” and that the “subject facilities shall be used solely by the generating facility.”

It was further noted that the proposed 230/138 kilovolt (kV) Cebu substation “should be part of the dedicated point-to-point transmission facility and TVI should file the appropriate application.”