P21.6-billion LMIP completed in 2018

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The P21.6-billion Leyte-Mindanao Interconnection Project (LMIP) currently being pushed for by the system operator of the country’s power grid is expected to be completed by 2018, with construction planned to start by 2016.

Henry Sy Jr., National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) president and chief executive officer, said in an interview with reporters that “hopefully,” LMIP will be completed in 2018 as the company plans to start the construction of the project three years from now.

The LMIP, which involves a proposed expenditure of $500 million or P21.6 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.

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“If we are able to finish the hydrographic survey for LMIP, which will probably end by the middle of next year and at the same time next year, if we could get approval from the ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] then we can start the project,” said Joseph Ferdinand Dechavez, NGCP senior adviser to the president.

Dechavez said that once NGCP is done with the feasibility study and hydrographic survey for LMIP, it will go back to ERC to apply for the actual construction which would “hopefully start by 2016.”

He also explained the importance of the study, specifying that the project is complex in a way that it will involve a very long overhead transmission from both ends of the two locations that will be completed.

“We’re not simply just talking about the submarine cable, but we’re talking of a very long transmission line, or over 400 kilometers of transmission line,” Dechavez said.

“The exact location is depending on hydrographic survey,” Sy also said. Late last year, NGCP said it has started pushing for the study for LMIP.

At the sidelines of the launching of the Philippine Energy Plan for 2012-2030, Sy told reporters that the LMIP is calling on the attention of the Department of Energy, as it will provide for a more reliable and robust transmission network for power.

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