The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the private operator of the country’s power transmission highway, is targeting to proceed with the 500-million Leyte-Mindanao Interconnection Project (LMIP) with a plan to seek regulatory approval by yearend.
The LMIP, which involves a proposed expenditure of $500 million or approximately P22 billion, is set to connect the Visayas and Mindanao grids through 23 kilometers of submarine cables from NGCP’s Leyte and Surigao substations.
The project is expected to help modify the operations of hydropower plants in Mindanao and improve the reliability of the Mindanao power system.
Cynthia Manrique, NGCP head of Revenue Regulatory Affairs, told reporters on Thursday that the grid operator targets to file an update with the Energy Regulatory Commission within this quarter on its study for LMIP.
She added, however, that NGCP is planning to file an application with the ERC toward the end of the year for the implementation of project, which will commence construction in 2016 and will be completed in 2018.
According to her, the update that the company will send to ERC within this quarter will include “additional information,” such as the steps and processes that have been taken and which areas the transmission lines would cover.
As of now, NGCP is currently working on the hydrographic survey for the project, which would involve a very long overhead transmission from both ends of the two locations that will be completed.
“This project is very expensive and very extensive,” NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said, adding that there are lot of issues that need to be considered before the company can proceed with the project.
“We have to be very careful on the plan that we submit for approval. We are taking all precautions and we are very, very careful with the survey. So bear with us kung nagtatagal [if this is taking too long],” she added.
According to her, the timeline and cost of the project will be determined once the study is completed.
“As long as the study has not been completed, we can’t make any definitive study on that,” Alabanza noted.