IGCC criticizes NGCP for delay in interconnection project

NEA gets support from DOE official to become “authority”

The Iloilo Grain Complex Corporation (IGCC) claims that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) should be blamed for the delay in the 138-kilovolt (kV) Panay-Guimaras Interconnection Project.

In a report by Manila Bulletin, IGCC said they do not see fit to blame the Supreme Court restraining order for NGCP’s failure to secure necessary permits from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). 

IGCC spokesperson Toby Tañada asserted that NGCP is responsible for the project’s delay since it neglected to get the necessary ERC permit, explore more affordable right-of-way options, and offer the IGCC a fair compensation package. 

It is worth considering that in September of last year, NGCP secured a writ of possession and an expropriation order from Iloilo Regional Trial Court Branch 33. This order would allow them to set up two tower sites within the bounds of IGCC,  connecting to a submarine cable linking Guimaras Island and Iloilo.

But in April 2023, IGCC challenged the RTC’s ruling and won a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court, stopping NGCP from seizing the food company’s assets. 

As things progressed, Tañada refuted NGCP’s assertions that attempts were made to settle with IGCC, emphasizing that both sides had already made their cases before the Supreme Court. 

Tañada also mentioned that IGCC suggested the underbuilding of NGCP’s existing 69kV line below the suggested 138kV transmission line so that it could use the very same poles, buildings, and Right of Way (ROW).

In situations where the ROW has restrictions, underbuilt overhead transmission systems tend to be permissible. Because ROW acquisition needs are reduced and structures are shared by two transmission or distribution lines, using this method would result in lower costs.