Transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is seeking regulatory approval for P24.481 billion major transmission and substation projects that it will need to immediately implement to ensure reliable operations of the country’s power grids.

The capital expenditure (capex) projects filed with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) are the P4.148 billion Silang 500-kilovolt (kV) substation project; P4.116 billion Pinamucan 500 kV substation project; P5.128 billion Tagkawayan 500kV substation project; P6.791 billion Taguig-Silang 500kV transmission line project; and the P4.297 billion Tuy 500kV substation project-stage 2.

Relative to the go-signal being sought from the industry regulator, the ERC has scheduled on April 16 this year the determination of NGCP’s compliance with jurisdictional requirements and expository presentation, and a pre-trial conference and presentation of evidence on April 23. The public hearings will be carried out via virtual platforms.

Before any project could be enforced by the transmission firm will require prior ERC approval based on the prescription of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), the law that restructured the electricity sector.

As the ERC stipulated, NGCP is required “to seek prior approval from the Commission of any plan for expansion or improvement of its facilities in relation to its authority and responsibility to construct, install, finance, improve, expand, rehabilitate and repair the nationwide transmission system and the grid.”

The Silang substation project is targeted for implementation within 52-month period, while the Pinamucan substation shall be installed in a stretch of 56 months.

Additionally, the proposed Tagkawayan substation facility is eyed for completion in 67 months; the Taguig-Silang transmission line project has to be constructed within 65-month span; and the Tuy substation project is targeted to be on stream after 55 months.

In particular, NGCP noted that the proposed Taguig-Silang transmission facility will “address the overloading of the San Jose-Tayabas 500kV transmission line during N-1 condition, and to provide a new transmission corridor to supply loads in Metro Manila.”

The N-1 condition in a power grid entails that there is a back-up that could take on the power load being transmitted in case one component of the system will fail, hence, preventing power service interruptions that could cause economic losses and inconvenience to consumers.

Further, the Tagkawayan substation project targets to “accommodate the entry of the 1,200-megawatt Tagkawayan coal-fired power plant in Tagkawayan, Quezon and the 700MW Jose Panganiban coal-fired power plant in Camarines Norte.”

The Pinamucan substation facility, on the other, will “accommodate the connection of the 500MW Vires LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant and the 2X600MW Santa Maria LNG plant in Batangas City area.”

NGCP added the project will “serve as future connection point of bulk capacity generation in the area” and to serve the needs of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) as well as the Batangas II Electric Cooperative Inc. as they brace for load growth in their respective power distribution networks.

Source: Manila Bulletin (