By Myrna M. Velasco
To underpin load growth that shall be brought about by capacity expansion of power plants, transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is prepping for capital outlay of P17.9 billion for the planned 500-kilovolt (kW) Western Luzon backbone of the country’s power transmission network.
In a statement to the media, the company noted that this huge capital outlay will support the eventual wheeling of generated electricity from the proposed 600-megawatt coal-fired power project of Redondo Peninsula Energy to be sited at the Subic freeport zone in Zambales province.
As laid down by NGCP, “The first stage of the project will involve the construction of the Castillejos-Hermosa 500kV transmission and will be connected to the new Hermosa substation.”
That particular phase of the project will command an investment of P1.34 billion and is targeted for completion by the second quarter of year 2020.
For the next component of the project, it will entail more sizeable capital infusion and this is due to be energized and set for commercial operation in year 2025. This will require the construction of a new Castillejos and Bolo substations along with the blueprinted 500-kV Castillejos-Bolo transmission line.
The overall investment plan for transmission network expansion in Western Luzon shall also cover other projects to support the injection of capacity of other greenfield power projects – including those that are sited in Bataan province.
These shall rope in the proposed 500-kV Mariveles-Hermosa and San Jose transmission line projects; then the 69-kW Hermosa-Floridablanca transmission line facility.
NGCP noted the Mariveles-Hermosa line “will serve as a new transmission corridor to accommodate around 2,836 megawatts from power plants,” such as the GNPower and the SMC Consolidated Power coal-fired power ventures; as well as the project being advanced by Korea Electric Power Corporation.
“The project entails the construction of a new Mariveles substation, along with the transmission line,” the system-operator firm stressed.
NGCP further explained “all of these projects in the western part of Luzon are critical in the stability and reliability of the transmission system in the near future.”
Cost-wise, the planned 500-kV Hermosa-San Jose transmission line project will require massive capital of P10.28 billion to be funneled into it, while the Mariveles-Hermosa line will need P5.94 billion worth of investments. Both projects are set for completion by last quarter of next year.
Further, the 69-kV Hermosa-Floridablanca transmission line project had been granted regulatory approval for a budget of P315.77 million – and that was a venture already energized in February this year.
NGCP emphasized these transmission projects have been among the 29 projects of the company previously certified by the Department of Energy (DOE) as projects of national significance.
A well-reinforced transmission network will ensure the efficient and seamless delivery of generated electricity to load customers – initially from NGCP to the distribution utilities down to the level of individual end-users.
As a transmission operator, NGCP has been bestowed with the mandate to invest in expanding the country’s transmission network as well as reinforce the facilities so they can deliver reliable service to all customers.