by Lenie Lectura, January 30, 2015
POWER utility giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has received an approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the development of a 115- kilovolt (kV) switching station in Caloocan City that costs P154.091 million.
In its 22-page decision, the ERC approved Meralco’s application for authority to develop a 115-kV switching station at Sitio Gitna, Kaybiga, Caloocan City, because the project “will redound to the benefit of consumers in terms of continuous, reliable and efficient power supply.”
The project involves the construction of around 3.6 kilometers of 115-kV line on steel poles from the corner of General Luis and P. de la Cruz streets to the Sitio Gitna’s 115-kV station.
The ERC agreed when Meralco said the proposed facility is the best solution to address the large capacity, as well as the reliability requirements for subtransmission facilities of the Metrodragon Steel Corp. (MSC) and ANK Steel and future industrial customers in Valenzuela, Caloocan and Quezon City.
MSC is an existing Meralco customer with a steel-rolling mill also in Sitio Gitna. It is applying for a 40-megawatt (MW) induction furnace as expansion for the said plant.
On the other hand, ANK is a new customer with a proposed smelting 20-MW induction furnace plant in the same area.
Both of their facilities are in Meralco’s franchise area. The combined applied load of MSC and ANK is 60 MW, which is scheduled to be commissioned in the first half of 2015. These significant new loads will be connected to Meralco’s distribution system.
Steel furnaces are known to contribute voltage flicker and harmonic distortions that may cause power- quality problems in the electronic power system.
Meralco said that with the current trend in economic growth, there is also a rapid growth in power demand in Meralco’s franchise, especially the commercial and industrial areas within Metro Manila.
“The development of the Sitio Gitna 115-kV switching station will accommodate the load applications of MSC and ANK,” Meralco said.