Completion of the Cebu-Bohol 230-kilovolt (kV) interconnection project (CBIP) which is poised to address the province’s perennial power woes is on track for completion by December, 2024, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced Thursday.
NGCP spokesperson lawyer Cynthia Alabanza, during the firm’s “Power 101” forum held in Tagbilaran City, said they have settled all right of way issues at the tower sites in the province allowing them to commence construction of the tower structures.
However, procurement of right of way in areas between the tower sites in both provinces were still ongoing with Alabanza pegging completion of expropriation proceedings and negotiation at “85 percent.”
“The tower sites are already 100 percent procured for the Bohol side. So we will be able to proceed with the construction of the tower sites but the in-betweens will be critical when we string it. Although those are good numbers, meron pa ding mga ibang kailangan pang e-procure in terms of in between,” said Alabanza.
The NGCP had earlier noted that the largest hurdle in completing the project were right of way concerns in both Bohol and Cebu.
Alabanza said that the procurement of properties were fast tracked due to the cooperation of some residents who opted to negotiate instead of awaiting the decision in the judicial procedure of expropriation.
Expropriation is an act of taking over a privately owned property for public use through the government’s power of eminent domain, which although lodged in Congress, may be delegated to local government units and public utilities.
“Ang mga Boholano medyo cooperative kasi ang tower sites 100 percent complete na and even those which we have expropriated, I personally received requests to negotiate even when may expropriation na,” she said.
Despite the NGCP’s optimism in completing the project by yearend in 2024, the firm acknowledged other possible hurdles such as legal issues and calamities such as storms that could hamper progress in the construction and assembly of the facilities.
The CBIP will significantly increase Bohol’s capacity to draw power from the Visayas grid, leading to a more stable power supply for the province, which is largely dependent on Leyte for its energy source.
The new interconnection will also help prevent overloading of the current 138-kv Leyte-Bohol submarine cable which has a capacity of 90 megawatts.
In previous years, Bohol had repeatedly been plunged into darkness and left with limited power supply when power plants and interconnection facilities in Leyte were hit by calamities such as storms and earthquakes. (A. Doydora)