The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Wednesday said movement restrictions imposed due to the persisting pandemic and processing of permits have pushed back its target completion of the 230-kilovolt Cebu-Bohol interconnection from 2021 to March 2023.
According to NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez, they practically halted their operations for the project in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Inspections and other activities with the contractor were also hampered as the construction firm tapped by NGCP is based abroad and has to fly in their personnel.
“Last year, wa man tay activity g’yud kay nahunong man g’yud ta completely, nagresume ta diri na sa mga November, December ,” she said.
Martinez said that both the NGCP and the contractor are ready to start construction but the country’s grid operator has yet to secure the necessary permits.
“Ang contractor nato is raring to go na,” Martinez said.
The NGCP is currently continuing its pre-construction activities including the processing of permits with concerned agency’s including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR and local government units (LGU)
“Kana g’yung permits ang [nakadelay] kay kami willing na g’yud mi mo start…lisod kaayo e-comply kay dunay mga requirements pero limited mi sa among mobility,” Martinez said.
Right-of-way negotiations are still also ongoing in both Cebu and Bohol, she added.
The grid operator hopes to start actual construction in July but is unsure if the target will be met due to the ongoing pandemic.
According to Martinez, construction duration is expected to last for 630 days or one year and seven months.
The NGCP has allocated P19.8 billion for the project which is expected to help Bohol meet its growing power demand.
The new power interconnection between the two provinces will have a power transfer capacity of 600 megawatts, over six times larger than the 90-MW capacity of the existing link from Leyte.
In October last year, the NGCP and the Maribojoc LGU entered into an agreement allowing the NGCP to erect its Cable Terminal Station (CTS) in Barangay Punta Cruz near the Loon boundary.
The CTS will serve as the landing point at the Bohol side for NGCP’s multi-billion-peso submarine cable. (A. Doydora)