MANILA — The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines’ (NGCP’s) Malita-Matanao transmission line project, which runs from Davao Occidental to Davao del Sur.
”The application filed by the NGCP for approval of its Malita – Matanao 230 kV Transmission Line Project, with prayer for the issuance of a provisional authority, is hereby approved,” the ERC said in a decision.
The project includes Malita’s new substation, an expansion plan for the Matanao substation and the transmission line that will connect the two stations.
It costs a total of Php 2.4 billion, including the related activities to be implemented for the project.
The project cost was adjusted to Php 2.3 billion since the project excludes a transformer, which will be connected to the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (DASURECO).
The transmission line will allow DASURECO to get more power from the new San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp.’s (SMCPC) 600-megawatt (MW) Coal Plant in Davao del Sur.
The transmission line is vital for the connection of the 600 MW plant to the Mindanao grid.
”If the proposed project will not be implemented, SMCPC’s Coal Plant will not be connected to the Mindanao Grid and there will be no additional generation capacity to the island, totaling to 600 MW,” it said.
Specifically, the NGCP said, if not approved, there will be a lack of transmission line facilities at a rate of 150 MW per year; 150 MW in 2015, 300 MW by 2016, 450 MW by 2017 and 600 MW by 2018.
The NGCP noted that the transmission line will temporarily run at a lower capacity and once completed, then to a higher one.
The SMCPC will pay the connection charge to the NGCP.
The ERC decision did not give details on what would be the effects of the project on the electricity rates of the Mindanao consumers.
According to the ERC document, the NGCP will still have to conduct a bidding for the procurement of materials for the project.
The NGCP is the main grid operator in the country, providing power lines — which run from power plants to distributors — in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Further, the ERC was mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to focus on ensuring consumer education and protection and to promote competitive operations in the electricity market.