URC transmission project given green light by ERC

GOKONGWEI-led Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has secured approval from regulators for its transmission facility in the Visayas region.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced it approved URC’s application to build a point-to-point (P2P) transmission facility to connect the firm’s 46-megawatt (MW) biomass-power plant in Negros Occidental to the Visayas grid. “The approval of URC’s application will redound to the benefit of the power consumers in terms of continuous, quality, reliable and efficient power supply,” the ERC said in a 17-page decision docketed in September.

The ERC allowed the URC to develop and own a dedicated P2P limited transmission facilities to connect the Kabankalan plant to the Visayas grid through the transmission system of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

However, one condition the ERC asks is for URC to turn over to the NGCP the switchyard and its associated facilities that have transmission function. URC would also have to pay a permit fee of P929,430.55.

The said transmission facility is necessary for the power plant to deliver its generated power through the 69-kilovolt (kV) Kabankalan-Mabinay transmission facility of the NGCP. The project cost is estimated at P123,924,973.21.

The plant will use bagasse, a sugarcane by-product from URC’s sugar mill, as feedstock. URC’s sugar mill in Kabankalan has a capacity of about 9,000 tons per day. The plant is URC’s foray into renewable energy.

Half of its output will be used by the firm’s sugar mill. The other half will go to the national grid under a 25-year operating contract with the energy department.

Asiaphil Manufacturing Industries Inc. had been tapped for the detailed engineering and design, complete supply of materials and equipment including delivery, installation and commissioning of the plant. URC also engaged the Power System Research and Consultancy Group for the supply of engineering services.


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