Hurdles involving resistance from landowners and issuance of permits from several local government units have further pushed the launch of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) to October this year.
“It is delayed. It was meant to be online in 2020. But now we’re targeting October this year. We’re doing our best,” National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza said in the latest episode of Power Podcast.
“We were just hoping that there is some kind of recognition that the NGCP is doing this for the development of the power backbone,” she added.
The delays on the projects were also caused by different factors, which include restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, making it difficult for NGCP to bring in foreign technical experts. Damages to the MVIP’s submarine cable, the Dapitan-Santander 350-kilovolt high voltage direct current line also caused delays in the launch last year.
“[The] submarine portion has been completed. And several segments in Mindanao have also been completed. And we are just really pushing for the Visayas side,” Alabanza said.
The MVIP was planned to be launched in the first quarter of 2022 to help the Luzon Grid in case of supply problems during the election period.
Likewise, the launch of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao was also postponed to coincide with the completion of the MVIP. However, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IMEOP) is pushing to launch it by June, months before the launch of the MVIP, to prevent transaction hurdles if the exchange of power begins between Visayas and Mindanao without the WESM.
IEMOP manager for registration and stakeholder services Katrina Garcia-Amuyot said that 56 of the 96 required participants in WESM Mindanao have fully registered while the rest are still completing their requirements.