Luzon grid to get 2,720 MW additional capacity by 2018

by Lenie Lectura, 03 May 2015
from BusinessMirror

Luzon will have an additional 2,720 megawatts (MW) of secured capacity in the next few years from the four new power plants that will be constructed in the Quezon province starting this year.

These are the four coal-powered facilities of Pagbilao Energy Corp. (420 MW) in Pagbilao;  San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBP) (500 MW) in Mauban;  Energy World Corp. (EWC) (2×300)  in Pagbilao; and  Meralco PowerGen Corp. (1,200 MW) in Atimonan.

The Pagbilao expansion project is scheduled for testing and commissioning starting mid-2017, with commercial operations to follow in November 2017.

The target commissioning of SBP’s power plant, meanwhile, is in the second half of 2018 to first half of 2019.

Construction for the first unit of EWC’s power facility is ongoing and the second 200-MW unit, company officials said, will come on line shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, MGen’s capital-extensive power project is still in the planning stage.

However, the existing transmission facility could not accommodate the load capacity of these power plants. As such, there is a need to expand the existing Tayabas substation of the Luzon grid.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which holds a 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power-transmission network, has applied with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the expansion of the substation.

At present, there are only two major power plants in Quezon province that are connected to the Tayabas substation. These are the 2×367.5-MW Pagbilao coal-fired power plant and the 500-MW Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. Co.’s coal fired power plant.

“Considering the growing need for power supply in Luzon, additional generation is highly essential. However, the readiness of the grid to accommodate such significantly huge capacity from the incoming power plants is extremely necessary. Thus, NGCP proposes the implementation of the proposed Pagbilao substation project, in order to accommodate the entry of new power plants in the Luzon grid,” the NGCP said in its 12-page application.

The project cost is P3,628,171,132.13 and the estimated completion is in 2018.

“Preconstruction activities are needed to be undertaken in 2015, in order to meet the target completion  of the proposed project in 2018. Hence, the need to file an application with prayer for the issuance of provisional authority before the ERC to be able to implement the project within the target date established,” NGCP said.

The grid operator said if the substation is not expanded, the entry of the new power plants will result in overloading of power transformers.

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