By Lenie Lectura -February 4, 2020
from Business Mirror
GNPower Kauswagan Ltd. Co. (GNPK) was allowed by regulators to put up a transmission facility that will connect its 552-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant to the Mindanao grid of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), in a decision promulgated last January 24, said the development of the dedicated point-to-point limited facilities worth P66.13 million is “necessary” for GNPK to fully dispatch the power to be generated by its coal plant.
“The power plant should be connected to the grid,” it added.
The power plant is expected to help the power requirements of the Mindanao grid since this was already included in the committed power projects of the Department of Energy (DOE).
“The said project will redound to the benefit of the electricity consumers in terms of continuous, quality, reliable and efficient power supply,” said the ERC.
One of the four units of the 4×150 MW power facility started its commercial operation in August last year.
GNPK also asked the ERC to operate the facility that would be connected to the NGCP’s Kauswagan Switching Station. However, the ERC said it should be NGCP that would operate and maintain the said facility to ensure and maintain the reliability, security and integrity of the national electrical grid. The NGCP won the concession agreement to operate the country’s entire transmission grid.
At the same time, the ERC allowed GNPK to install a 69-kiloVolt (kV) connection facility worth P39.42 million on Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Laneco).
GNPK and Laneco inked a 20-year power-supply deal, which was approved by the ERC.
The ERC took note of this, saying the connection facility with Laneco is necessary for backup power source for GNPK, should there any be failure on the part of the NGCP 230-kV switching station.
In all, the project cost of the two connection facilities are worth P105.55 million.
However, the ERC said GNPK could be sanctioned for its failure to secure prior approval of the transmission facilities before these were constructed.
During an ocular inspection in October 2018, the ERC found out that the said facilities were already constructed and implemented.
“Hence, considering that the subject facilities were developed, constructed and used without prior approval by the Commission, the same will be further investigated by the Commission for purposes of determining the propriety of imposition of sanctions, if warranted,” said the ERC.
GNPK was also directed by the ERC to pay P791,683.31 in permit fee.
GN Power Kauswagan is a subsidiary of AC Energy in partnership with the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure Fund and Power Partners. AC Energy’s economic stake in GN Power Kauswagan is 85 percent.