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NGCP eyes full power transfer capacity within Vis-Min by Q3 

NATIONAL GRID CORP. of the Philippines (NGCP) has committed to fully energizing the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project (MVIP) by the third quarter of this year.

“NGCP expects to gradually increase the transfer capacity of the facility over the coming months and to reach its full capacity of 450 megawatts (MW) by the third quarter of 2023,” NGCP said in a statement on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, NGCP announced that it had started to energize the MVIP with an initial load of 22.5 MW being transferred from Mindanao to Visayas. The 52-billion transmission project is crucial as it is expected to connect the country’s three main grids, allowing the transfer of power surpluses to regions experiencing deficits.

The Department of Energy has said earlier that it expects a transfer capacity of 450 MW by June to July. The MVIP was certified in 2018 as an Energy Project of National Significance, allowing its speedy approval process. It was initially targeted for completion by December 2020, though it was delayed by the pandemic.

“NGCP clarifies that proper, mindful, and responsible generation and transmission planning are key to a stable grid. Basic principles such as individual island self-sufficiency, decreased inter-island interdependency, and transmission redundancies must be considered,” the grid operator added.

“Development in all sectors involved in the power industry must be coordinated, with due attention given to each,” it added.

For this year, NGCP also expects to complete the Hermosa-San Jose 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line project as well as the third stage of the Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone project.

The Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection project consists of a 230-kV backbone, which will supply the rest of the Visayas from Cebu.

Since 2009, NGCP said it had spent P300 billion in upgrading the country’s transmission system.

“But despite NGCP’s best efforts, delays in the completion of certain projects could not be avoided due to the pandemic,” NGCP said.

“Construction works had to be temporarily suspended due to quarantine regulations. Even when restrictions were eased, NGCP could not fully resume work on the projects because of health and safety protocols,” it added.

It also said right-of-ways issues and delays in the delivery of parts and equipment contributed to the delays in its projects.

NGCP has built a total of 3,729 circuit kilometers of transmission lines and 28 substations, and has installed 31,190 megavolt amperes of transformer capacity in the past 14 years. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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