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NGCP seeks ERC approval for P9.5 billion Bicol grid line

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has sought the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission for its planned P9.5 billion Camarines Sur-Catanduanes Interconnection Project.

NGCP said the project, which will connect Catanduanes to the main grid, is in compliance with the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

The proposed project involves the laying down of submarine cables and the installation of overhead transmission lines, which is estimated to cost P9.5 billion and will be completed in 48 months from approval.

The submarine cable is a 23-kilometer, 69-kilovolt (kV) connection with cable terminal station (CTS) in Brgy. Bitaogan in Presentacion, Camarines Sur and in Brgy. Asgad in San Andres, Catanduanes Island.

Land facilities include the 70-kilometer 230-kV Naga-Presentacion transmission line, 28-kilometer 69-kV Presentacion-Lagonoy transmission line, 12-kilometer 69-kV Presentacion-Bitaogan CTS, and the one-kilometer Asgad CTS-San Andress transmission lines.

The NGCP said the interconnection will support the load growth and power demand needed by Catanduanes, thereby pushing the socio-economic development through the government’s economic plans and programs for the island in the near and long term.

With its economy driven by agriculture, fishing, and tourism, the grid operator expects Catanduanes’ power demand to grow within the next few years considering the development plans and programs of the government aimed to attract investors.

As of 2020, the island’s peak demand has already reached 15 megawatts (MW) while its total contracted supply was only at 10.18 MW.

“Clearly, the existing generating plants in Catanduanes Island cannot accommodate and keep up with the growing demand of electricity, in which case, loads need to be curtailed in order to provide continuous albeit insufficient service to its electricity customers,” the NGCP said.

The island is being served by First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative Inc. (FICELCO) while its present transmission system is owned and operated by the National Power Corp.

As part of its goal of building One Grid Philippines, NGCP aims to connect and integrate Catanduanes to the main power grid through the project.

“The proposed interconnection will enable the electricity consumers in Catanduanes through its distribution utility or directly as a contestable customer to have access to a more reliable and competitive generation sources in the Luzon Grid,” it said.

NGCP

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