NGCP starts new transmission line for Bataan capacity expansion 

NATIONAL GRID Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has energized a 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that will expand the capacity of its facilities to accommodate around 2,500-megawatts (MW) of new power generation capacity from Bataan province, the electricity grid operator said on Thursday.

“NGCP’s mandate is to ensure that all capacities are capable of being delivered to load centers across the Philippines. It is important that we remain ahead of the curve by ensuring that lines are more than capable of delivering incoming power. NGCP is dedicated to doing its part in ensuring energy stability and resiliency, by making sure the power highways are always ready,” the privately-owned power transmission company told reporters via Viber.

NGCP said the project involved building a 49.2-kilometer transmission line connecting Mariveles to Hermosa, Bataan, and substations in Alas-Asin, Mariveles and Balsik, Hermosa.

NGCP said the project cost at P6 billion, for which it sought approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The line expansion is expected to accommodate new capacity from the Bataan peninsula including the coal-fired power plants of GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. and Mariveles Power Generation Corp.

NGCP said it completed and energized the line on March 30.

According to the Energy department, the second unit of GNPower Dinginin with a capacity of 668 MW is scheduled for commercial operation in June.

Mariveles Power’s 150 MW first unit is set for testing and commissioning in September and commercial operations in December. The plant will have eight units, each with a capacity of 150 MW.

“The capacity of the new Balsik Substation will ensure that more power can be dispatched by the transmission system, and will greatly improve the overall grid reliability and stability of the 500-kV network,” NGCP said.

The new Balsik, Hermosa substation will have capacity of 2,000-megaVolt ampere (MVA), which the company said is the largest MVA capacity of its transformer bank to date. The capacity can be expanded to up to 4,000 MVA with the entry of bulk generation in the coming years, it added.

The Mariveles-Hermosa transmission line project was certified as an “energy project of national significance” by the Department of Energy on Jan. 16, 2019.

The company said that other critical projects in its pipeline include the Hermosa-San Jose 500-kV transmission backbone project in Luzon, the Cebu-Negros-Panay and Cebu-Bohol interconnection projects, and the Mindanao-Visayas interconnection project.

The projects aim to bring about power sharing among the country’s three main grids.

“The completion of these high voltage facilities affirms NGCP’s commitment to its mandate of expanding the country’s transmission system. We continue to ask for the support of all our stakeholders to fast-track the completion of our other critical projects as we create a better and more resilient grid across the country,” the company said. — Victor V. Saulon