The linking of Bohol to the Cebu power grid moves a step forward with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) set to start cable-laying operations between the two islands next month.
According to the NGCP, they are targeting to start the laying of submarine cables by July 16.
The first phase of the operations, which cover the laying of three cables using a large vessel, is expected to be completed within one month.
However, the full cable-laying segment which includes three phases and the installation of a total of seven cables is expected to be accomplished early next year.
The cable laying is one of four major components of the Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project (CBIP) which also includes the establishment of cable terminal stations, overhead lines and substations.
According to NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez, they are still on track to complete the CBIP by November next year.
Martinez said that once the CBIP is energized, Bohol will mainly source its power from Cebu instead of Leyte.
“The main highway will be the CBIP already…But the [Leyte] line will still be there,” said Martinez.
The 230-kilovolt line which has a maximum capacity of 1,200 megawatts is expected to help Bohol meet its growing power demand.
According to Martinez, the CBIP will be part of the Visayas 230-kV looping interconnection.
The NGCP is currently working on a 230-kV line connecting Cebu and Negros and another line connecting Negros to Panay.
It also plans on establishing a second line between Leyte and Bohol also utilizing a 230-kV line which has more load capacity than the existing 138-kV line between the two provinces.
Martinez admitted that the largest hurdle in completing the project are right-of-way concerns in both Bohol and Cebu.
She said they have resorted to expropriation to take possession of lots of owners who have refused to engage in settlements with the power transmission firm.
“If there are owners whom we do not reach agreements, we resort to expropriation. We seek the assistance of the court,” said Martinez.
Expropriation is an act of taking over a privately owned property to benefit the public good.
Martinez said the NGCP is scheduled to meet with Governor-elect Aris Aumentado when he officially takes over as chief executive next month to discuss measures that would help expedite completion of the project.
Aumentado had also previously aired the need to hasten the CBIP’s energization to help entice businesses to invest in Bohol which, at present, solely relies on power from Leyte. (A. Doydora)