New timeline eyed to link up Visayas-Mindanao power grids

by Myrna Velasco – February 15, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The target completion of the interconnection of the Visayas and Mindanao power grids is now set at 2021 in consideration of a route shift that will now traverse Negros to Zamboanga,

This was indicated by Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar; while noting that the new feasibility study of the Negros-Zamboanga Interconnection Project (NZIP) already secured the initial go-signal of the regulatory body.

“By 2021 is the new schedule,” he said when quizzed about the project’s revised timeline of implementation. Basically, that is the targeted timeline of NZIP’s completion and commercial operation.

He added “they (NGCP) filed an application three (3) weeks ago and that we already provisionally approved the application for feasibility study to be conducted to interconnect the Visayas and Mindanao grids.”

Salazar emphasized that the link-up of the two grids is a milestone that he would want achieved before he steps down from ERC’s helm in 2022.

“Considering that we already approved it, based on their proposed timeline and assuming this new route is feasible, we would be able to see this done before the end of my term in 2022,” he stressed.

Technically, he said that the original Leyte-Mindanao Interconnection Project (LIMP) had already been discarded due to technical concerns in the originally proposed path plus the tendency that it could swell project funding.

Salazar explained “this time, we encourage them to determine whether that portion can actually be utilized as the new route for connection between the Visayas and Mindanao grids.”

The proposed NZIP will be the last connection needed for the country to finally have a single interconnected grid. It will replicate the sharing of energy capacity that was made feasible for Luzon and Visayas because of their interconnection.