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NEWS UPDATES 16 July 2010

Power to link three main Philippines islands

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The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) may push through with a power transmission project that would link the country’s three major islands. Guillermo Redoblado, NGCP senior technical adviser, said the company has already formed a technical working group to establish the financial and technical viability of the Leyte-Mindanao Interconnection Project (LMIP).

“We formed a technical team for that who will present it to the [NGCP] board for approval,” he said to the Manila Times.

Once approved, the company would then seek approval from the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission.

NGCP bagged state-owned National Transmission Corp.’s (TransCo) 25-year concession to operate and manage the country’s power transmission lines, which brings electricity from power plants to distribution utilities like Manila Electric Co. and to heavy users such as manufacturing plants that opted to connect directly to the grid.

Redoblado said that the cost of interconnecting the country’s power grid would be definitely higher than the initial TransCo estimate made seven years ago of P18 billion.

At present, only Luzon and the Visayas grids are connected through submarine cables. This allows Luzon to export excess generating capacity to the Visayas during times of power shortage albeit at a limited capacity.

The LMIP was originally designed for a 250 kilovolt high-voltage line with a total transfer capacity of 500 megawatts. The project was also supposed to include a 455-kilometer long overhead line and a 23-kilometer submarine cable with a maximum depth of around 1,000 meters below sea level.

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