ERC approves GNPK power plant in Mindanao

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) allowed the GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co. (GNPK) to establish a transmission facility that will connect its 552 MW coal-fired power plant to the Mindanao grid of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

According to a BusinessMirror report, the power plant is expected to help the power requirements of the Mindanao grid since it was already included in the commitment power projects of the Department of Energy (DOE).

“The said project will redound to the benefit of the electricity consumers in terms of continuous, quality, reliable, and efficient power supply,” the regulatory body was quoted as saying in the report.

GNPK also requested the ERC to operate the facility that would be linked to NGCP’s Kauswagan Switching Station, to which the commission rejected, arguing that it should be NGCP that would operate and maintain the facility to ensure and to maintain the reliability, security, and integrity of the national electric grid.

Nonetheless, the commission also allowed GNPK to install a 69-kiloVolt (kV) connection facility, amounting to P39.42 million, on Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Laneco).

The ERC expressed that this connection facility is necessary for backup power source for GNPK should there be failure on the part of NGCP’s 230-kV switching station.

Amidst these wins, the ERC said GNPK could be sanctioned as it failed to secure prior approval of the transmission facilities before these were constructed.

According to the report, the said facilities were already established during the commission’s October 2018 ocular inspection.

“Hence, considering that the subject facilities were developed, constructed, and used without prior approval by the Commission, the same will be further investigated by the Commission for purposes of determining the propriety of imposition of sanctions, if warranted,” the Commission stated in the report.

In all, the project cost of both connection facilities amounted to P105.55 million. The firm was also directed by the ERC to pay P791,683.31 in permit fee.

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