THE PHILIPPINES and its neighbors are conducting a feasibility study on a power transmission project that will connect Palawan with northern Borneo, the Department of Energy (DoE) said on Wednesday.

“It has already been shown to be feasible in the continental ASEAN. That’s why they want to do it also,” Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla told reporters, referring to the possibility of connecting archipelagic Southeast Asia.

Mr. Lotilla added that the power transmission link between Palawan and Borneo — an island shared by Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia — could eventually connect to Singapore.

“This is one of the things that actually Singapore is interested in, which is to diversify its own sources of power,” he said.

“But that means that they are looking forward to the Philippines’ developing its renewable sources, particularly onshore wind. By the time we are able to produce excess renewable energy from offshore wind, they will be interested in sourcing power even from the Philippines,” he added.

He said the feasibility study falls under a pilot program known as the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines Power Integration Project (BIMP PIP).

“If the Australians can dream of laying out submarine cables to deliver their electricity to Singapore, what more for the Philippines,” Mr. Lotilla added.

Mr. Lotilla said the BIMP PIP working group will assess the potential project, and examine the technical, policy, regulatory, legal, commercial, and capacity-building issues relating to cross border power links.

Separately, Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra said that the DoE hopes to connect Mindoro Island to the Luzon Grid by 2025.

Ms. Guevarra said that the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has committed to complete the project in two years.

“The DoE requested them (to expedite the power link)… They can do it. NGCP is cooperative,” she said.

She said the power link will land on the Luaon side in Batangas province.

The universal charge for missionary electrification could fall 20% once Mindoro is connected to the Luzon grid, Ms. Guevarra said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera