National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) targets to start with the preparatory works on the Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project next month.
NGCP finalized the timetable after the Regional Development Council on Friday endorsed the project.
According to NGCP-Visayas Spokesperson Betty Martinez, the project will “secure a stable and reliable power transmission in Visayas”.
NGCP presented an overview of the Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project to the Bohol media in March last year.
On October 13 last year, NGCP filed an application for a provisional authority from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the implementation of the Cebu-Bohol 230-kiloVolt Interconnection Project and Nabas-Caticlan-Boracay Transmission Project.
During the RDC-7 full council meeting on December 14, it was manifested that NGCP targets to start with the preparatory works by January 2019 so it could start implementing the project by July 2020.
NGCP first targeted to start the actual works on the project by 2023 but decided to move the timetable to an earlier time.
The project covers a 29-kilometer overhead transmission line from Dumanjug to Argao in the Cebu side of the grid, then a 30-kilometer submarine cable from Argao to Loon, and a 26-kilometer overhead transmission line from Loon to Corella.
The grid will have a capacity of 400 megaWatts which is targeted to meet the increasing power consumption of Bohol.
The 230-kilovolt Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project is a component of the NGCP Visayas Backbone Looping Program.
NGCP sought the approval ERC’s of the project “pursuant to Section 9 (d) of the EPIRA which directs NGCP to submit any plan for expansion or improvement of ist facilities for approval by the [ERC]”.
ERC’s authority is needed “for the immediate implementation of the”projects which NGCP described as a capital expenditure.
The Cebu-Bohol and the Boracay projects “will support the increasing demand for electricity of Bohol and Boracay’s load customers, and improve the reliability of the electrical system of the Visayas Grid”.
As a background, NGCP explained that the “Cebu, Leyte and Bohol Islands are radially interconnected through the Cebu-Leyte 230-kV and Leyte-Bohol 138-kV submarine cables”.
“The Leyte-Bohol 138-kV submarine cable has a limited capacity of only 90 megawatts (MW),” NGCP explained.
NGCP also noted that “Bohol is highly dependent on power coming from Leyte” and that “although Bohol hosts several hydro- and oil-based power plants, their aggregate capacities are not sufficient to supply Bohol’s total demand”.
NGCP estimates that Bohol’s demand will reach 89 MW by 2020 and will further increase to 95 MW by 2021.
On this, NGCP calculated that “transmitting the needed power from Leyte Island will absolutely overload the Leyte-Bohol 138-kV submarine cable”.
Actual demand of Bohol was 62 MW in 2015 which increased to 70 MW in 2016.
NGCP’s earlier forecast showed the demand would further increase to 72 MW in 2017, then to 77 MW in 2018.
It would continue to increase to 83 MW in 2019, then to 89 MW in 2020, then to 95 MW in 2021, then to 102 MW in 2022, then to 109 MW in 2023, then to 116 MW in 2024, and further to 124 MW in 2025.
The forecast still excluded the consideration of the effect of the operation of the Bohol-Panglao International Airport.
Now that the new international airport is already in operation, NGCP will be updating the forecast.
“To avoid the expected overloading of the Leyte-Bohol submarine cable, NGCP proposes to interconnect the Cebu and Bohol Islands through a 230-kV submarine cable. With the interconnection, the overloading of Leyte-Bohol 130-kV submarine cable will be avoided, and will provide the Bohol Island with another source of power coming from the Island of Cebu,” NGCP explained to ERC.
NGCP targets to finish the Cebu-Bohol project in 50 months.