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New $1bn transmission project to connect Visayas-Mindanao, Philippines

Power lines, Philippines (source: flickr/ dbgg1979, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 17 Aug 2017

A new $1 billion transmission project in the Philippines will provide a much hoped for Visayas-Mindanao connection connecting geothermal power plants in Luzon and the Visayas.

As reported today, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has started working on its ambitious Visayas-Mindanao connection project with an “indicative” cost of US$1 billion.

NGCP spokesperson Leonor Felipa Cynthia Alabanza, yesterday said the initial target of completion based on the original plan will be in 2022. NGCP has committed to finish the project by December 2020.

“The project is a 72-kilometer submarine cable, which extends by at least 100-kilometer each in Zamboanga and Cebu sides,” Albanza said.

“The Visayas-Mindanao connection will be good for all consumers, including those in Negros Occidental, because it will widen the choice of local cooperatives for power suppliers,” she said, adding that they can find cheaper power as far as north of Luzon and as far as General Santos and Davao in Mindanao.

The project is also seen to impact positively Negrense consumers as it will help prevent occurrences of power outage. The NGCP as a transmission service provider aims to provide the power highways between the distribution utilities and power plants.

“We want to make sure that the highways are wide enough to accommodate the ‘traffic’ to ensure that all available power will be transmitted to those who need it,” Alabanza said.

By connecting each other, regions in the Visayas can utilize mostly the abundant hydro energy resources from Mindanao. It will be mixed with plenty of coal and geothermal in Luzon and Visayas, respectively.

“We will now be able to enjoy power sharing between the three major islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” Alabanza added. Prior to the Visayas-Mindanao connection, the NGCP has already started working on improving connectivity between Negros, Panay and Cebu. The Cebu-Negros-Panay 230 kilovolts Backbone Project will translate to an additional transmission capacity of 800 megawatts between Negros and Cebu. It is positioned to fully address line congestion problems in the Visayas.

Source: SunStar