ERC okays P600-M NGCP substation

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 05 2012 04:43 PM | Updated as of Aug 06 2012 12:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has provisionally approved the plan of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to build a new power substation.

The P600-million Opol substation in Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao will cater to growing electricity demand in the province, the regulator said.

After initial evaluation, the ERC said it found that the substation project “will redound to the benefit of the consumers in terms of continuous, reliable, efficient and affordable power supply.”

“Rapid progress in Misamis Oriental necessitates the construction of a new, strategically-located substation to accommodate customers’ loads and eliminate possible line overloading and voltage problem,” the NGCP said.

To date, the province draws power from the 60-kilometer Lugait-Carmen 69-kilovolt (kv) line that was constructed way back in 1966.

For this year alone, peak load for the existing Lugait-Carmen line will hit 90% of its rated capacity. It could increase to 103% in 2014.

Hence, the country’s transmission service provider filed a petition for the construction of the Opol 138-kv line.

Pre-construction activities need to be started this year, which will allow the NGCP to complete the project in February 2015, the company said.

“With the projected economic progress and load growth, both the line and substation would no longer meet the increasing demand requirements in the next few years,” the firm said.

Specifically, the Laguindingan airport will increase demand by four megawatts starting next year.

Given the access, new commercial establishments in the area could further push demand higher, the ERC said.

To date, industries in the area include metal, chemical, mineral, rubber and food processing.

The NGCP allotted roughly P100 billion in capital spending for the creation of new transmission lines and substations, and the expansion of existing facilities nationwide in the next 10 years. It recovers its investments through fixed rates added to consumers’ electricity bills.

The Transmission Development Plan targets improving power transmission nationwide through the installation of new system reinforcements, development of alternative transmission corridors, prevention of heavy loading and upgrade of existing facilities to make NGCP the strongest power grid in Southeast Asia.

NGCP is the private concessionaire of the country’s power transmission network, or the facilities that bring electricity from power plants to private distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.