THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it needs government assistance to meet the timeline set for the P14.03-billion Batangas-Mindoro Interconnection Project (BMIP).

“In our 2023 application filed with the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission), the timeline we indicated is 2027, already tight with respect to a project of this magnitude,” the NGCP said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Department of Energy (DoE) announced last month the NGCP’s commitment to complete the BMIP in 2025.

NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza said the global average for completing transmission projects is between 7 and 10 years.

“There was already pressure on us to do an expedited timeline for this and (we considered 2027 to be) reasonably doable assuming nothing extraordinary happens, because we did some pre-work already. The 2027 timeline already considers the pre-work we did,” Ms. Alabanza said in a briefing.

“The 2025 timeline (really has zero) elbow room” that does not allow deviations of even one day. “I mean that’s an exaggeration but it’s that tight,” she added.

The NGCP first filed the project application with the ERC in 2011, followed by re-submissions to reflect the adjusted cost of the project and developments in the area.

The grid operator started to pursue the project in February following the approval of the ERC with a set target of completion by 2027.

“We understand and support the direction of the DoE in these and other critical projects. There is zero room for any delay with the usual chokepoints — right-of-way and the issuance of permits from local governments and other government agencies,” the NGCP said.

“It’s an almost impossible deadline, but NGCP, as always, will do its best,” it added.

Under the proposal, Mindoro will be connected to the Luzon grid through the proposed Pinamucan 230-kilovolt (kV) substation in Batangas City.

“This project is conceptualized for the purpose of bringing power from Luzon to Mindoro… to give electricity to Mindoro from Luzon,” Ms. Alabanza said, adding that the link has a capacity of 600 megawatts both ways.

According to the NGCP, it had completed the topographic survey for the submarine cable and cable terminal station sites, the marine and hydrographic survey, and the route survey for the 230 kV and 69 kV overhead transmission line sections even before it received approval from the ERC. 

“Mindoro has been suffering from power interruptions due to intermittent power supply and expensive cost of power. With its fast-growing economic development, Mindoro requires a long-term solution. The connection to the main grid will open the island to other sources of energy, enabling the stable delivery of power,” the company said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera