ERC lim­its NGCP’s 2016 projects to ‘essentials’

Business Mirror - - BM REPORTS - By Le­nie Lec­tura

THE En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (ERC) has slashed the planned cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture (capex) of the Na­tional Grid Corp. of the Philip­pines (NGCP) for 2016, ef­fec­tively lim­it­ing the num­ber of projects that it can un­der­take this year.

ERC Com­mis­sioner Glo­ria Vic­to­ria Yap-Taruc said the com­mis­sion has de­lib­er­ated on NGCP’s ap­pli­ca­tion filed in De­cem­ber last year.

“NGCP has 38 projects, but only seven were ap­proved. They should im­ple­ment first the projects that are of pri­or­ity,” Taruc said.

The grid op­er­a­tor sought the ap- proval of 38 projects with a to­tal amount of P8.05 bil­lion. It asked the reg­u­la­tor to is­sue a pro­vi­sional au­thor­ity to im­ple­ment the pro­posed capex pro­gram for 2016.

The new projects that the NGCP plans to un­der­take are the Tiwi Sub­sta­tion up­grad­ing pro­ject, the Naga Sub­sta­tion up­grad­ing pro­ject, the Clark-Mabiga 69-kilo­Volt ( kV) trans­mis­sion-line pro­ject, the Bataan 230- kV grid re­in­force­ment pro­ject and the Her­mosaSan Jose 500- kV trans­mis­sion­line pro­ject.

The pro­posed capex also in­cludes the ac­qui­si­tion of the fol­low­ing trans­mis­sion-line as­sets: CEDC-Veco’s Colon 138- kV line; Calung- Calung 138-kV line; New Sa­long 230- kV sub­sta­tion and Sa­long Calaca 230- kV line; In­gore CTS; In­gore- Sawang 138-kV sub­ma­rine ca­ble; Sawang CTS; Sawang Zal­divar sub­sta­tion; CIP II sub­sta­tion; Bac­no­tam- Ma­ba­neng­neng lines 1 and 2; and Ma­ba­neng­neng-Hol­cim 69-kV line.

How­ever, the ERC only ap­proved the im­ple­men­ta­tion of seven projects amount­ing to P1.1 bil­lon, ac­cord­ing to ERC Chair­man Jose Vi­cente Salazar.

“The com­mis­sion, af­ter its ini­tial eval­u­a­tion, de­cided to au­tho­rize the im­ple­men­ta­tion of seven projects for a to­tal amount of P1.1 bil­lion. Th­ese projects were found to be nec­es­sary for NGCP to be com­pli­ant with ex­ist­ing rules and ad­dress is­sues on grid ca­pac­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity, safety and pro­tec­tion,” Salazar said in a text mes­sage when sought for com­ment.

Th­ese projects, ac­cord­ing to Salazar’s text mes­sage, in­clude: the Tiwi and Naga Sub­sta­tion up- grad­ing, the Clark-Mabiga 69-kV trans­mis­sion line, the Bataan 230kV grid re­in­force­ment, the Her­mosa- San Jose trans­mis­sion line, rev­enue-me­ter­ing ex­pan­sion and se­cu­rity- in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject.

NGCP is re­quired to seek prior ap­proval from the ERC for its ex­pan­sion plans or im­prove­ment of fa­cil­i­ties. Aside from its au­thor­ity and re­spon­si­bil­ity for the plan­ning, con­struc­tion and cen­tral­ized op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of its high-volt­age trans­mis­sion fa­cil­i­ties, it is in­dis­pen­si­ble for NGCP to en­sure a re­li­able and high- per­for­mance op­er­a­tion of the trans­mis­sion sys­tem.

“One of the core man­dates of NGCP is to im­ple­ment up­grad­ing and ex­pan­sion pro­grams to en­sure that the sys­tem ad­e­quately and re­li­ably meets fore­cast de­mand, sys­tem re­li­a­bil­ity, de­mand mar­ket re­quire­ments and ca­pac­ity of new gen­er­a­tors,” NGCP said in its ap­pli­ca­tion.

Like­wise, NGCP is also re­quired to en­sure a re­li­able and ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tion of ex­ist­ing trans­mis­sion lines and sub­sta­tion equip­ment; and to guar­an­tee a safe and re­li­able en­ergy sup­ply to the dis­tri­bu­tion util­ity. To com­ply with this man­date, NGCP needs to im­ple­ment, among oth­ers, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, re­fur­bish­ment, test­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to the ex­ist­ing trans­mis­sion line and sub­sta­tion as­sets.

“Thus, to avoid dis­rup­tion of op­er­a­tion and non­com­pli­ance with its man­date un­der the Epira [Elet­ric Power In­dus­try Re­form Act] as the trans­mis­sion op­er­a­tor, it is im­per­a­tive that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­posed capex projects be im­me­di­ately ap­proved,” NGCP said.

NGCP has 38 projects, but only seven were ap­proved. They should im­ple­ment first the projects that are of pri­or­ity.”—Taruc

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