NGCP to put up P2.9-B transmission line for SMC

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 17 2014 09:17 AM | Updated as of May 17 2014 05:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the country’s lower grid operator, is seeking the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to put up a P2.9-billion transmission project for San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) proposed coal-fired power plant in Malita, Davao del Sur.

San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. earlier expressed plans to build a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Davao del Sur.

In a filing with the ERC, NGCP said the transmission project is necessary to support the SMC plant.

The entry of San Miguel’s coal plant consequently requires the immediate construction of transmission facilities to be able to connect the plant to the transmission grid, the company said.

“Therefore NGCP proposes the implementation of the Malita-Matanao 230 kilovolt transmission line project in order to accommodate the entry of San Miguel’s plant to the Mindanao grid,” NGCP said.

For the transmission line component, the proposed 230-kilovolt transmission line will run from the proposed new Malita substation up to Matanao substation, which is about 62.5 kilometers in length.

“This is to provide high capacity for the anticipated expansion of the coal plant to be delivered to the grid,” NGCP also said.

In its application, the grid operator said the plant and the transmission project would significantly help the Mindanao grid.

“At present, the Mindanao grid is experiencing significant power shortage due to insufficient generation capacity. The Mindanao island is highly dependent on hydroelectric power which is more than 50 percent of the overall power generation, which sources are generally located in Northern Mindanao region. With the possible occurrence of El Niño phenomenon, the dependence of the island on hydro-generated power will be vulnerable,” NGCP said.

In order to meet the pressing need for additional generation capacity, construction of new generating plants within the island of Mindanao is necessary, it added.

San Miguel is targeting the commercial operation of the plant by 2016.