• Transco contests NGCP interconnection project

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    State-owned National Transmission Corp. (Transco) wants to challenge the legality of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ P51.69-million Visayas-Mindanao (VisMin) interconnection project.

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    Transco President Melvin Matibag told reporters that the firm had already asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to look into several issues pertaining to the project, which was granted provisional approval last month,

    Matibag said Transco was also questioning NGCP’s choice of a P15-billion high-voltage direct current (DC) system when ‘there’s also an available alternating current (AC) transmission” system.

    He also claimed that NGCP would earn P189 billion for the lifetime of the interconnection project based on a weighted average cost of capital of 15.04 percent, among others.

    Cost is a primary concern as this will be passed on to the consumer, Matibag claimed.

    “Actually, I’m willing to give it to NGCP provided the funding” will come the state firm “and we are asking [the]ERC to strongly consider that Transco should be the one supervising the project,” Matibag said.

    Matibag said he had sent a letter to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi regarding their own study of the VisMin interconnection project and a recommendation that World Bank funding be sought.

    Transco is also concerned about the project’s location given the likely impact on the environment, he said.

    In case the ERC does not act on their petition, Matibag said Transco was considering joining the bidding process for the project via a joint venture with a private company.

    NGCP officials were not immediately available for comment.

    Last month, the privately-owned company expressed optimism that the VisMin interconnection project would be completed before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.

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