THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve 41 capital expenditure (capex) projects which are scheduled to be built starting this year, according to documents obtained from the ERC.

On Dec. 4, the NGCP filed two petitions for the immediate implementation of capex projects from its “Group 1” and “Group 3” categories, which it said will help the company maintain the reliability, security and stability of the grid.

Twenty-two of the planned projects are due to be built in Luzon. Nine projects are to be constructed in the Visayas, and 10 in Mindanao.

The Visayas Substation Upgrading Project 2, from the Group 1 category, carries the highest estimated project cost of a Group 1 project at around P18.71 billion. The Visayas substation project is due to be implemented over 32 months, the NGCP said.

Meanwhile, the Western Luzon 500 kilovolt Backbone Project (Stage 2) will cost P18.96 billion, the most expensive in the Group 3 category. The Western Luzon backbone will be implemented over 65 months.

In its petitions, the NGCP asked the ERC to “immediately issue an order provisionally authorizing the implementation of the proposed capex projects; approve — after notice and hearing — the proposed projects; and for other equitable relief.”

In its initial orders posted on its website on Feb. 9, the ERC said that it has found the applications to be sufficient in substance, and that the required fees have been paid. It has set dates for the online hearings on both petitions. — Angelica Y. Yang