NGCP starts P52-billion project for Visayas-Mindanao interconnection

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - June 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has begun construction of the P52-billion project connecting the Visayas and Mindanao power grids, which will strengthen the country’s transmission network and boost employment opportunities for host communities.

NGCP said the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), which will link Mindanao to the already connected Luzon-Visayas Grid, is in the works and is targeted for completion in December 2020.

“This is the largest transmission undertaking in the country’s history. The benefits to the public will come not just when the facility is energized and begins to facilitate power exchange across the three main island groups, but will begin encouraging economic activity in remote areas as soon as construction begins this year,” the grid operator said.

Submarine cables spanning 184 circuit-kilometers and 526 circuit-kilometers of overhead lines link the Visayas and Mindanao grids as designed in the MVIP.

The construction of the project will run in parts of Cebu in Visayas and in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Lanao del Norte in Mindanao, creating job opportunities in those areas.

NGCP said over 200 jobs would be open for employment in the substation and transmission line portions of the project.

The MVIP will directly traverse 35 barangays across the four provinces in Visayas and Mindanao. With construction to run for about two years, many residents will benefit from this.

NGCP earlier  said the interconnection of the Visayas and Mindanao power grids by 2020 would boost the reliability of the power grid in the face of calamities.

The project, which unifies the Philippines’ transmission grid, also fulfills one of the country’s commitments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which envisions to be an economic community in the next few years.

Currently, only Luzon and Visayas are interconnected while Mindanao is isolated. Interconnection between Luzon and Visayas allows both grids to get supply from each other in times of supply shortfall.

NGCP was given the go-signal by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) last year to proceed with the interconnection project which was conceptualized by the government as early as in the 1980s, but was shelved until NGCP took over the transmission business.

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.

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