NGCP encounters legal hurdle in Tuy-Dasmarinas Transmission Project

NGCP transmission line with sun 2

The execution of the Tuy-Dasmarinas 500 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project encounters a significant legal hurdle that may slow down the entry of new generation projects into the transmission system if not resolved.

In a statement, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced that it has initiated expropriation proceedings against E.M. Ramos and Sons, Inc., among other defendants asserting ownership interests in properties impacted by 16 out of the 135 towers slated for construction in the project.

Furthermore, NGCP added that the project might also fall behind as a Writ of Possession (WOP) was recalled in one of the expropriation cases.

A WOP was issued by the expropriation court as early as 2020 for three properties, which included six tower sites. However, the WOP was recalled, and one of the towers was ordered to be relocated by the court in November 2023.

“These setbacks encountered will most likely delay the completion of the Tuy-Dasmarinas project and will have an effect on transmission services. We are not only talking about the provinces of Cavite and Batangas… Any delay in the project’s implementation will also impede the entry of additional power supply from new power plants,” NGCP said.

In response, the systems operator (SO) said that it had already filed a motion for reconsideration, countering the order of relocation of public infrastructure as it was “beyond the powers of an expropriation court”.

Meanwhile, one of the defendants in the expropriation action, St. Francis Square Realty Corporation, also submitted a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, asking for the relocation of a second tower.

Five months later, both matters are still awaiting a decision from the expropriation court.

“The expropriation cases were filed as early as 2019. It ought not to be the cause of delay for the implementation of a vital national infrastructure project, such as a transmission project… We have to remain ahead of the requirements of the system. Otherwise, we may face power interruptions to customers in parts of Metro Manila, North, and South Luzon.” added NGCP.

Currently, NGCP’s Calaca substation stands as the sole substation in the western region of Batangas, facilitating the transmission of over 2,000 MW of power generated from plants in the vicinity. This electricity is distributed to customers in South Luzon and Metro Manila via the existing transmission infrastructure.