NGCP seeks ERC okay to pursue Palawan-Mindoro interlink project

By Lenie Lectura – August 5, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is seeking the regulator’s approval to pursue Stage 1 of the P6.4-billion Palawan-Mindoro Interconnection Project (PMIP).

The PMIP Stage 1 will serve as the preparatory stage for the interconnection of Palawan to the main grid. It aims to conduct further studies on the interconnection of Palawan to Mindoro through submarine cable and establish a transmission backbone designed to serve long-term power needs in the area.

Stage 1 of the PMIP has two components: a desktop and hydrographic survey, and a new transmission line and substation project in Mindoro. The survey will assess the risks in the study area, present information that may affect the survey and actual project implementation, determine the feasible routes for the proposed submarine cable interconnection, and assess engineering risks along the possible cable routes, and other factors.

The second component is the establishment of the Calapan-San Jose 230-kiloVolt (kV) Transmission Line Backbone and San Jose 230-kV Substation in Occidental Mindoro, since the province will eventually serve as the connection link of Palawan to the main grid. This transmission backbone will provide reliable transmission of power in the area while creating potential for generation facilities, as well. It will also provide an interconnection link to Palawan and the Visayas islands, which may be explored in the future.

“NGCP is proposing to implement the PMIP to provide adequate, reliable and affordable power supply in Palawan. With the increasing demand for power in the island due to tourism and economic development, it is about time to pursue this interconnection to the main grid, which will provide Palawan with more reliable power supply and access to cheaper alternative sources of power in the main Luzon grid,” said NGCP.

Stage 1 of the PMIP will run for 27 months for the conduct of the desktop and hydrographic survey, while the development of the Calapan-San Jose 230-kV Backbone and San Jose 230-kV Substation will run for 60 months.

If a viable route for the project is identified upon completion of the hydrographic survey, and the 230-kV backbone component is completed, NGCP will proceed to Stage 2 of the project, which is the actual implementation of the Palawan-Mindoro interconnection through submarine cable.

NGCP is looking to get a Provisional Authority to implement the project and eventual Energy Regulatory Commission approval, considering the PMIP’s impact on and importance to the entire Philippine grid.

“Considering that the interconnection of Palawan to Mindoro will entail the development of very long transmission facilities, it is very important that these preconstruction activities be started as early as possible. This interconnection project will greatly benefit not just the island of Palawan, but will also prepare the entire Philippine grid for the integration to the proposed Asean Power Grid, promoting power sharing and optimization of generation capacity within the region,” NGCP stated.

SOS for Paleco

Meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said over the weekend that 10 electric cooperatives (ECs) will assist Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) to speed up the rehabilitation of the power distribution system.

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong announced the creation of Task Force Kapatid Paleco.

Each EC will be deploying six technical personnel with boom truck and necessary equipment and logistics to aid Paleco in undertaking rehabilitation activities of power lines in its coverage area.

“The rehabilitation of Paleco will start in the second week of August. We are sending 10 electric cooperatives to form part of the task force,” Masongsong said.

The 10 ECs are Batangas I Electric Cooperative Inc. (Batelec I), Batelec II, First Laguna Electric Cooperative Inc. (Fleco), Aklan Electric Cooperative Inc. (Akelco), Antique Electric Cooperative Inc. (Anteco), Capiz Electric Cooperative Inc. (Capelco), Iloilo II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ileco II), Cebu I Electric Cooperative Inc. (Cebeco I), Cebeco II and Cebeco III.

The frequent power interruptions in the province were caused by vegetation problem and lack of acceptable dispatch protocol in the generation, transmission and distribution systems.

Paleco is the lone power distributor of Puerto Princesa City and the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Brooke’s Point, Sofronio Española, Cuyo, Magsaysay, Quezon, Roxas, Taytay, El Nido, Araceli, San Vicente, Bataraza, Rizal, Balabac, Cagayancillo, Agutaya and Dumaran.