NGCP faces right-of-way challenges in P52-B power interconnection project

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DAVAO CITY — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is facing challenges in land acquisition for the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), but assured that the P52-billion infrastructure remains on track for the 2020 target completion.

NGCP Communications and Public Affairs Officer Michael O. Ligalig said the challenges include valuation negotiations with landowners, and uncertain ownership due to absence of proper land titles with sometimes two claimants.

“We have to resolve first all the right-of-way concerns (to avoid stalling the project rollout),” Mr. Ligalig said at a media forum here.

He said they started negotiating with lot owners as early as 2017 and some cases have been filed in court to resolve conflicts.

The MVIP will link Mindanao to the interconnected Luzon-Visayas grid, creating a nationwide network for power supply.

The connecting points are southern Cebu in the Visayas and Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Lanao del Norte in Mindanao.

Mr. Ligalig said Zamboanga del Norte is one of the areas where there are right-of-way issues.

The MVIP will involve submarine cables spanning 184 circuit-kilometers and 526 circuit-kilometers of overhead lines.

NGCP plans to begin laying underwater cables by next year.

“There is no problem in underwater cabling, only inland acquisition,” Mr. Ligalig said. — Maya M. Padillo