Monday, 4 May 2009

Company to invest P10.32 billion in Mindanao transmission project

JOSE BIMBO F. SANTOS
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/BW050409/content.php?id=057

THE NATIONAL GRID Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will be investing P10.32 billion for transmission projects in the Mindanao grid starting this year up to 2012.

In a statement, NGCP said that they have "lined up many projects in Mindanao as part of... efforts to upgrade and expand the power grid and at the same time, align its operation and maintenance practices with global standards."

Among the priority areas, according to NGCP, are the Aurora-Polanco 138-kilovolt (KV) Transmission Line Project and the Zamboanga City Area 138-KV Transmission Line Project.

The Aurora-Polanco line is intended to serve the power demands of Dipolog City and nearby load centers. The P1.43 billion project slated for completion by November 2011 is intended to augment power presently sourced from the Aurora Substation through a 69-KV single circuit line.

The project is currently in the pre-construction stage of settling right-of-way issues, working for local government endorsements and environmental compliance certificates, NGCP said. The Zamboanga city project, meanwhile, will cost P1.27 billion and is being set up to provide for projected increases in power demand in the area. In line with this is a construction of a new substation in Pitogo and the reinforcement of the 138-KV line connecting Sangali to Pitogo. The project, presently in the tendering stage, is expected to be finished by March 2010.

NGCP said that they will submit due diligence requirements and conduct community surveys prior to the right-of-way acquisition. "We want to involve the communities. We don’t want to go in like an intruder," NGCP President and Chief Executive Officer Walter A. Brown said.

"A lot of problems in the past have been due to the lack of adequate appreciation and concern for the rights of the people whose lands we are occupying to build our transmission lines. We are very conscious of this," Mr. Brown added.

NGCP received a 25-year concession to operate the National Transmission Corp., the state’s power grid, on January 15. NGCP paid an initial $987.5 million in January as part of a $3.95 deal. NGCP is a privately-owned utility company made up of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., Calaca High Power Corp., and the State Grid Corp. of Hong Kong Ltd. The Chinese firm is a subsidiary of the State Grid Corp. of China, one of the world’s largest power utility companies.

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