(The Philippine Star) | Updated April 30, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is seeking industry and public support as it has filed an application for the implementation of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) in support of the government’s priority program on island interconnections.
The application for provisional authority (PA) is the result of an NGCP-commissioned hydrographic survey conducted from September to November 2016.
“NGCP submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission its application for the implementation of the VMIP. This comes after years of research and careful planning. Finding the safest and most viable route for the project was a long and tedious process, given the many challenges that faced us, like unexploded ordinances, fault lines, and submarine volcanic activity. We needed to be careful and sure, as this is going to be the biggest project in the history of the Philippine power industry,” the grid operator said in a statement.
Earlier studies on the project, which focused on the eastern route from Leyte to Surigao, revealed various obstacles including live ordinance (torpedoes and high explosive shells) from the Battle of Surigao in 1944, an underwater volcano, fault lines and seismic hazards such as unstable rock slabs.
The results of previous feasibility studies before NGCP took over transmission operations prompted the company to look for alternative routes.
Based on the new survey results, the most viable route is beginning in Cebu and terminating in Dipolog.
NGCP has made subsequent preparations including the conceptual design, detailed cost-estimate, and update of the system simulation study using the Cebu-Dipolog route in the ERC application, while inland and route surveys for substations and overhead transmission lines were simultaneously being conducted.
“As soon as ERC grants us the provisional authority, NGCP will immediately put into motion plans that will lead to the eventual unification of the country’s three main grids. Barring any delays, we hope to get this done by 2020,” it said.
NGCP sought the support of the public and its stakeholders, especially communities that will be traversed by the project, given the magnitude and potential impact of this undertaking.
“We want this completed on-time, making sure that quality of power transmission lines, facilities and services is not compromised. NGCP needs the full support of the government, Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the different local government units to ensure its timely and quality implementation,” the grid operator said.