MANILA – The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) expects to complete the  reinforcement of the Mindanao transmission backbone within the first quarter of 2019, months ahead of its target of June 2019 completion.

The Mindanao 230-kiloVolt (kV) Transmission Backbone Project will address the anticipated addition of bulk power generation in the area by strengthening the existing capacity of the Matanao-Toril-Bunawan and the Balo-i-Maramag-Bunawan transmission lines from 138 kV to 230 kV.

Various key substations will also be upgraded to accommodate the line and the additional power expected to flow through.

Once in place, the transmission backbone will accommodate renewable and conventional power plants in the northern and southern part of Mindanao, ensuring a stable and continuous power supply from Lanao del Norte, passing though Agusan del Sur, all the way to Davao del Sur.

With the completion of the project, large generating plants such as GNPower and SMC will be able to connect to the grid, easing the once known vulnerabilities of hydropower and maximizing the generating capability of incoming plants.

“This means that we can maintain the quality and reliability of power which Mindanaoans will be able to enjoy. We are excited for the projects lined up for Mindanao as this will create a solid energy corridor in the island,” NGCP said.

The project also serves as an integral part of the Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) which will complete the link between the country’s power grids, allowing power between the major islands to be shared, and ensuring the reliability and stability of the grid.

Upon completion of all major NGCP projects for Mindanao, any excess generation will be supplied to the Visayas region and vice versa, effectively supporting the power requirements of all three islands.

The Mindanao Backbone project is key to the VMIP because it provides the transmission highway to accommodate the capacity which the interconnection needs for it to be fully utilized by both Visayas and Mindanao, stated NGCP.

NGCP emphasized the support of the local government units (LGU) in fast-tracking the implementation of its grid enhancement and expansion projects. For the Mindanao backbone project, the LGU of Davao del Sur played a big part in the expedited project completion by assisting in the acquisition of Right-of-Way (ROW), which is often the longest and most tedious component of the project.

“The support given by the Davao del Sur LGU was instrumental in shortening the project timeline, allowing NGCP to complete its target early, and in effect, provide better, continuous power transmission services to the public. (NGCP)