• Cusi urges NGCP to make grid connectivity happen

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    ENERGY Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has reprimanded the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for not moving fast enough to comply with the deadlines set under the Transmission Development Plan (TDP) and transmission agreement.

    The Cabinet official did not hide his displeasure over the NGCP’s failure in meeting the targets of the deal, even now when a new administration is in place.

    “We’re pushing this. We’re really pushing this in coordination with NGCP, especially in Mindanao where we have sufficient power supply,” Cusi said in an interview on the sidelines of the Energy Investment Forum on Tuesday in Makati City.

    The NGCP consortium holds the 25-year concession contract and the 50-year franchise to operate the power transmission network of the country. The consortium is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation led by Robert Coyiuto Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China as technical partner.

    “We have the grid code, we just want to make sure they follow the grid code and the transmission that would interconnect Mindanao to the Visayas and Luzon grids. It’s been long delayed, and yet they are still in planning stage again? It cannot be further delayed,” Cusi said.

    The NGCP supposedly told the Cabinet official that the initial area where the underwater transmission line was supposed to be laid was too deep. On top of that, it allegedly sits on fault line.

    “But like I said are we going to study over and over again and we will wait for another administration to do the interconnection?, Cusi said, “Make it urgent. This is for the country.”

    He said the transmission interconnection should be finished and operational by 2022, when the Duterte administration steps down from office. “We are having it reviewed—the concession agreement of NGCP—to make sure we will enforce it.”

    The NGCP is looking at the proposed Negros-Zamboanga interconnection.

    “We’ve been meeting with them and they have been very cooperative. What we need is that they finished it soonest. That’s why I told National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) to review and enforce the transmission agreement,” said Cusi.

    Created under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, TransCo managed and operated the national grid until early 2009 when the NGCP took over the transmission network some two years after winning a congressional franchise. TransCo remains the owner of the transmission assets.

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