FNPC allowed to connect San Gabriel plant to another Lopez-owned power plant

by Lenie Lectura – March 18, 2016

from Business Mirror

FIRST Natgas Power Corp. (FNPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Gen Corp., was given the green light to put up a dedicated transmission facility to connect its 450-megawatt (MW) San Gabriel power plant to an existing switchyard of another power plant also owned by the Lopez group.

First Gen is the holding company for the power generation and energy-related businesses of the Lopez group. It has a portfolio of 15 power-generation plants with a combined capacity of 2,763 MW.

FNPC is developing its third gas plant—San Gabriel—located adjacent to the existing two other gas plants of First Gen: the 1,000-MW Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo plant.

FNPC proposed a connection where the San Gabriel plant will be connected to the existing San Lorenzo (SL) switchyard through a dedicated point-to-point limited connection facility to be called the San Gabriel-SL Connection Facility.

The proposed facility—costing P117,872,784.74—will be connected to the transmission system of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) via the existing SL switchyard. The connection is necessary so that electricity coming from the power plant will be thrown in the Luzon grid, which, in turn, will be distributed to end consumers by the distribution utility.

“The application filed by FNPC for authority to develop, own and operate a dedicated point-to-point transmission facility to connect to the existing San Lorenzo switchyard, with prayer for provisional authority, is hereby approved,” the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said in its 15-page decision.

The ERC, however, laid down some conditions. For instance, the operational control of the SL switchyard, including the proposed expansion, shall be transferred to NGCP.

“San Lorenzo is neither a distribution utility nor an industrial generation facility, thus, FNPC is not an embedded generator. With the proposed connection, the SL switchyard ceased to become a dedicated facility,” the ERC said.

Section 9 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) provides that once the dedicated facility will be used for completion or connects other users, it should be transferred to the National Transmission Corp. (Transco)/NGCP.

“Therefore, in compliance with the said provision of the Epira, the operational control of the switchyard should be transferred to Transco/NGCP,” ERC said in its decision.

Also, the ERC added that it would be the FNPC that would operate the 200 meters of dedicated point-to-point transmission line in constant coordination with the NGCP.

“The subject facilities shall be developed and constructed in accordance with the System Impact Study and Facility Study requirements so as not to result in the degradation of NGCP’s transmission system,” the ERC said.

The construction of the proposed facility will be done by Siemens Inc.