NGCP vows to connect Visayas, Mindanao grids by end of 2020

By Lenie Lectura – September 26, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has declared its commitment to meet the target completion date of the multibillion-peso Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP).

“MVIP is under way. We have worked with the providers and consultants to make sure that we make the deadline, that’s end-2020,” said NGCP Chief Financial Officer Nanette Bugnosen.

The MVIP aims to connect the Mindanao grid to the Visayas grid, to ultimately lead to a single, unified national grid by the time of its completion.

Bugnosen cited what has been done so far prior to start of construction. “We have already awarded part of the submarine cable. We are still negotiating with some LGU [local government units] for the necessary permits to proceed with the work. Also, we are negotiating with some landowners for ROW (righ-of-way) clearance. When these are all complete, we proceed with the construction.”

In November 2018, NGCP said it broke ground on the new cable terminal stations, which serve as a major component of the MVIP.

The cable terminal stations will be located in the municipality of Santander, Cebu and Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte. These will serve as landing points of the two 92-kilometer submarine cables which will carry around 450 megawatts (MW) of power from the Visayas and Mindanao, and vice versa.

With a unified national grid, power transmission services in the country will be more reliable as there will be fewer power interruptions nationwide due to the sharing of local energy resources. Reliable electricity transmission, in turn, could help boost investments, infrastructure development, and commerce in the country, said NGCP.

The MVIP, provisionally approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission in 2017, is considered the biggest power infrastructure project in the country. Apart from the submarine cables and cable terminal stations, the P52-billion project also entails the installation of 526 circuit-kilometers of overhead transmission lines, high-voltage direct current converter stations, and various upgrades to substations in both regions.

In May 2018, the Department of Energy (DOE) certified the MVIP as an Energy Project of National Significance, in order to streamline and expedite the needed documents for the construction and completion of the project.

NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid, led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.