Senator Win Gatchalian expressed dismay over the National Grid Corporation of the Philippine’s (NGCP) delay in implementing 16 transmission projects considered to be Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS). He said out of the 16 EPNS, only 6 have reached completion, representing about 37.5% completion rate as of March 2023 while the NGCP has already been collecting for these delayed projects.
According to him, NGCP’s failure to complete such projects on time is causing significant delays in the development and operation of generation facilities which in turn affect the total electric power supply in the country. Implementation of EPNS projects had been delayed by an average of 3 years while those not yet completed are delayed by about 5 years already.
“Ang masama dito, nangongolekta na sa atin at nagbabayad na tayo ng pera sa mga proyektong hindi pa natin nakikita,” said Gatchalian, who filed proposed Senate Resolution 616.
The vice chairperson of the Committee on Energy is seeking an inquiry into the considerable delay in the completion of the NGCP’s transmission projects in a bid to ensure a reliable and continuous electric power supply in the country.
The senator further revealed that out of 168 projects under the Transmission Development Plan, excluding 56 projects that are in the pre-construction stage, only 30 projects have been completed while 138 projects are delayed.
“The delay causes a multi-layered impact. When we talk about attracting investments into the country, the power supply is a fundamental consideration. How can we attract investors if we don’t have adequate supply and if it’s too costly?” Gatchalian said.
The senator cited as an example the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project which, once completed, will enable the country to have one grid. The project, with a full transfer capacity of 450 megawatts (MW), was originally scheduled to commence operation in December 2020. Also, the Cebu-Negros-Panay 230 kilovolts (kV) Backbone Stage 3 Project, originally set for completion in December 2020, would increase transfer capacity from 200 MW to 800 MW. Further, the Hermosa–San Jose 500 kV Transmission Line Project, originally set for completion in 2019, would ease congestion in the Bataan Corridor with its capacity to accommodate 4,700 MW.
“As the sole backbone for the transmission of electricity throughout the country, the NGCP is duty bound in ensuring that it is able to adequately serve generation companies, distribution utilities, and suppliers requiring transmission and ancillary services through transmission system,” said Gatchalian.