By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor
GNPOWER KAUSWAGAN Ltd. Co. (GNPK) has stepped up the development of one of Mindanao’s biggest power plants and has sought regulatory approval to build a point-to-point transmission line from the facility to the national grid.
In its application with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), GNPK said it is building a clean pulverized coal-fired power generation facility with four units, each with a capacity of 138 megawatts (MW) or a total of 552 MW.
GNPK, which is led by Ayala Corp. subsidiary AC Energy Holdings, Inc., is seeking ERC approval to develop, own and operate grid connection facilities with a capacity of 230 kilovolt (kV) and a 69 kV.
“In order for GNPK to timely conduct the necessary testing and commissioning of the first unit of the [power plant] by the second half of 2018, GNPK intends to have the Dedicated Connection Facilities operationally ready by then,” it said in its application.
“GNPK and NGCP are currently discussing the terms and conditions of the connection agreement which will govern the interconnection and transmission of power supply” from the generation facility into the Mindanao grid, it added.
The company is building the power plant in barangays Libertad and Tacub in the municipality of Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte province.
In its application with the ERC, GNPK said the power plant will be connected to the Mindanao grid through the Balo-I-Kauswagan-Aurora 230-kV transmission line. Given the location of the facility, its optimum connection to the grid network should be through the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) 230 kV transmission line.
The company said the technical feasibility of connecting the power plant to NGCP’s Kauswagan 230-kV substation was confirmed in the system impact study (SIS) that the system operator approved in April 2014.
Aside from the SIS, a facility study has been conducted to determine the technical specifications, the design and operational criteria, and the cost of the equipment, engineering, procurement and construction, as well as the time required for the proposed connection.
GNPK is a subsidiary of AC Energy in partnership with the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure Fund and Power Partners. The construction of the plant is in full swing and is expected to be in commercial operation by 2018, AC Energy said in its website.
The facility will operate as a baseload plant to support the power demand and economic development of Mindanao, it added.
In its initial order, the ERC said it had found the application “sufficient in substance” and had set the expository presentation, pre-trial conference and presentation of evidence on Sept. 7, 2018.
If completed, the plant will be among the biggest power generator in Mindanao, which has an installed capacity of 2,730.1 MW, of which 2,378.8 MW are considered dependable. The southern island’s biggest power facility at present is the Agus hydroelectric plants, which has seven units, the biggest of which generates 255 MW.