THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is eyeing to complete the planned Leyte-Mindanao interconnectivity project by 2018, an official of the NGCP said yesterday.
During the AFP-PNP press conference at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Thursday, regional corporate communications head Milfrance Capulong, said that the grid operator hopes to commence the construction of the project by 2016 that will connect Mindanao Grid to that of Luzon and Visayas.
This project is eyed as one of the long-term solutions to ensure a steady power supply in all three islands.
NGCP initially planned to loop the Mindanao Grid through a Leyte-Surigao route but the grid operator opted to consider other areas after finding out the Surigao route was not feasible due to technical limitations.
Capulong said they are studying the feasibility of Misamis Occidental, particularly in Ozamis City.
She added that the project is beneficial for both Mindanao and Visayas as it will allow "surplus power from Visayas to be imported to Mindanao in cases when we are short in supply, and vice versa."
Citing the Department of Energy (DOE), Capulong said Mindanao is forecasted to have a stable power supply by 2016 onwards once all plants under construction are put online.
"By 2016 onwards, we are forecasted to have surplus power by then. We will also be able to give power to Visayas in times of shortage once we are interconnected with them," she said.
Meanwhile, Capulong said they are no longer implementing load curtailment due to more power supply in the region.
"Unlike in the past months when we had low water levels, now we have enough reserves and our power supply can meet the demand," Capulong said.
As of Wednesday, NGCP recorded a system capacity of 1,297 megawatts and a reserve of 46 megawatts in Mindanao.
Capulong said they welcome the construction of new coal-fired power plants and hydropower plants, particularly the coal plant in Toril and the planned hydro plant in Tamugan, as these will assure cheaper power rates in Mindanao.
"If it's hydro and coal, the operating cost is lower compared to diesel and bunker fuel. With this generation mix of hydro and coal, we can slowly ease out of diesel and bunker fuel, and we can assure cheaper rates," she said. (Brent Harvey S. Jimenez, AdDU Intern)