ERC starts virtual inspection of NGCP facilities

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Energy Regulatory Commission has started virtual inspections on the transmission facilities of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) this month as part of the review on the grid operator’s compliance.

According to the ERC, the inspections, which commenced on June 10, are part and parcel of the compliance review being undertaken by the agency’s technical staff with its appointed consultant, Navarro, Amper & Co.

The ERC’s review shall cover NGCP’s procedures, processes, and systems that it employs through its various organizational units.

The technical consultant/expert employed by ERC shall undertake the documentation and presentation of its report to the ERC, including a knowledge transfer program, as the ERC lacks the technical expertise and capability to conduct such compliance audit or review of the NGCP.

“The ongoing inspections will cover NGCP’s Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao transmission facilities and the activities that will be undertaken are threefold: (1) document verification of relevant documents on site; (2) ocular inspections of the various systems, assets, and procedures; and (3) probing questions or discussions with the concerned NGCP staff,” ERC chairperson and CEO Agnes Devanadera said.

According to the ERC, the virtual field inspections aim to establish and assess the grid operator’s compliance with the governing rules and regulations, and sufficiency of the infrastructure used by the system operator in carrying out its functions and responsibilities.

The inspection will also evaluate NGCP’s accuracy, reliability, and availability of data or information gathered from power plants, substations, and other power utilities, as well as capacitate the ERC personnel on compliance review.

“We wish to underscore the fact that the ERC’s engagement of a technical consultant for the conduct of NGCP’s compliance review shall be financed from the ERC’s budget allocation and that the same was done in accordance with the Government Procurement Reform Act (GPRA),” Devanadera said.

Last year, NGCP expressed its willingness to be audited by government through the ERC after the Senate Committee on Energy pressed the grid operator to submit to a mandatory audit.

NGCP said any audit on its system operations and other facilities should be conducted by the proper regulatory agency, which in this case is the ERC, the independent body tasked by law and recognized by the concession agreement.

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