Cebu-Bohol power link starts moving to reality

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Cebu-Bohol power link starts moving to reality

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Bohol is heading towards the realization of its urgent vision to interconnect electricity from Cebu and address the prevailing unreliable power transmission from Leyte while the province’s own land-based energy plan is being developed.
The province got positive feedback after Gov. Edgar Chatto last year lobbied, with a strong support from the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP), to the Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize the direct power link from Cebu to Bohol.The project is to be submitted “for implementation” once the technical and financial requirements are evaluated and finalized, according to NGCP President/Chief Executive Officer Henry Sy, Jr.
Site selection for the landing portion in Loon of the submarine cable was already conducted by the NGCP in November last year, said Sy in a formal written update to the province received by the SP Friday.
As chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC-7), Chatto on the same day led in Cebu City a budget consultation with Central Visayas national agencies and congressmen on major concerns, including power, for funding in 2016.
Hours to its receipt of the NGCP update, the SP discussed in its pre-session conference with the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), represented by Engr. Loy Acierto, the Cebu-Bohol interconnection as an immediate priority, Board Member Tomas Abapo, Jr. told newsmen.
In support of the governor’s want, the SP appealed in a resolution last year to the DOE thru the NGCP to prioritize the Cebu-Bohol interconnection.
In a resolution weeks ago, the SP also supported the governor’s parallel vision of establishing land-based power generation facilities as pursued in Bohol Energy Development Plan (BEDP) instead of hugely relying on electricity from the existing Leyte interconnection.
As proposed, power submarine cables from Cebu will be connected to Bohol via Cabilao island off mainland Loon.
But Sy said the NGCP has identified two possible landing sites in mainland Loon itself, either of which is less expensive than the landing spot in Cabilao.
There will be two phases in the Cebu-Bohol link, the first major initial involving the hydrographic survey for the submarine route from Sibonga in Cebu to Loon.
This will be filed as part of NGCP’s 4th Regulatory Reset Application with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), according to the NGCP official.
Sy said the NGCP is currently preparing documentary requirements for the said filing.
Bohol’s lobby for the Cebu-Bohol interconnection has been likewise lodged at the ERC thru the NGCP.
Phase two is the project execution and “as soon as we have gathered realistic data on the submarine route and the cost that it will entail, the NGCP will file the project for implementation,” Sy assured.
Abapo said Acierto told them that the Cebu-Bohol link could use a “redundancy” transmission technology so that emergency power is still sustained even if the system meets a serious technical problem.
Abapo said the governor wants the direct transmission from Cebu and the land-based generation system right in Bohol aggressively pursued, although the latter may take few more years even if several investors have signified intent.
After presenting their credentials in a power investment forum led by Chatto last month, these energy developers and providers are formalizing their proposals, which are bases for BEDAG recommendation.
There are other potential investors who are keen on responding to Bohol’s land-based energy development call, although they were not able to attend the forum, Abapo said, quoting Acierto.
Abapo caused some sessions ago an SP resolution supporting the province’s land-based power generation program which, like the Cebu interconnection, can sustain the supply of electricity province-wide even if the Leyte source or its transmission system fails.
Against the present demand, power supply in Bohol is not a problem.
But Chatto will have laid this early a far solid foundation for reliable, sufficient and sustainable electricity considering the projected fast growth owing to the impact of imminent dramatic developments and economic modifiers like the new Bohol airport. (ven rebo Arigo)

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