National Grid Corp. expects Mindanao project completed ahead of target

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) on Monday said it could complete ongoing reinforcement of the Mindanao 230-kiloVolt (kV) Transmission Backbone Project within the first quarter of 2019, months ahead of its target June 2019 completion.

The Mindanao transmission backbone will address the anticipated addition of bulk-power generation in the area by strengthening the existing capacity of the Matanao-Toril-Bunawan and the Balo-i-Maramag-Bunawan transmission lines from 138 kV to 230 kV. Various key substations will also be upgraded in order to accommodate the line and the additional power expected to flow through.

The transmission backbone, once in place, will accommodate renewable and conventional power plants in the northern and southern part of Mindanao, which will, in turn, ensure stable and continuous power from Lanao del Norte, passing though Agusan del Sur, all the way to Davao del Sur.

“With the completion of the project, large generating plants such as GNPower and SMC will be able to connect to the grid, mitigating the once known vulnerabilities of hydropower and maximizing the generating capability of incoming plants,” the NGCP said. “This means that we can maintain the quality and reliability of power, which Mindanaoans will be able to enjoy. We are excited for the projects lined up for Mindanao, as this will create a solid energy corridor in the island.”

The project also serves as an integral part of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) that will complete the link between the country’s power grids, allowing power between the major islands to be shared and ensuring the reliability and stability of the grid.

Upon completion of all major NGCP projects for Mindanao, any excess generation will be able to travel to the Visayas region and vice versa, effectively supporting the power requirements of all three islands.

“The Mindanao backbone project is key to the VMIP because it provides the transmission highway to accommodate the capacity which the interconnection needs for it to be fully utilized by both the Visayas and Mindanao,” the NGCP said.

The NGCP emphasized the support of the local government units (LGU) in fast-tracking the implementation of its grid enhancement and expansion projects.

For the Mindanao backbone project, the LGU of Davao del Sur played a big part in the expedited project completion by assisting in the acquisition of right-of-way, which is often the longest and most tedious component of the project.

“The support given by the Davao del Sur LGU was instrumental in shortening the project timeline, allowing the NGCP to complete its target early and, in effect, provide better, continuous power transmission services to the public,” the NGCP said. “We are appealing for the same support from other LGUs, as well as the public, as we all have a common goal of efficiently providing the power needs of the country.”

The NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid. It is led by majority shareholders Henry Sy Jr. and Robert Coyiuto Jr.