The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is looking to finish the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) within the first quarter of 2022.
During the House Committee on Energy’s hearing last week, NGCP President Anthony Almeda said that the completion of the project was delayed because of unresolved right-of-way issues between some landowners and the grid firm’s substations.
He added that NGCP is already in the process of resolving the issue and in constant communication with the people involved.
House deputy speaker and Cagayan De Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said the MVIP must be fast-tracked for completion by the first quarter at the latest since the Luzon Grid may again encounter supply problems during the election period, which officially runs from January 9 to June 8. The 2022 elections are set for May 9, which is in the second and historically most problematic quarter with regards to power supply.
Once completed, the MVIP will connect the Visayas and Mindanao Grids to a high voltage direct current (HVDC) system with a 450-megawatt initial capacity.
Almeda ensured that NGCP would push hard to meet the first quarter deadline.
Certified as an Energy Project of National Significance in 2018, the MVIP supposedly was for completion by December 2020, but was delayed and extended to December 2021 because of the pandemic and subsequent quarantine restrictions nationwide. Unfortunately, the latter deadline may also not be met, as an undersea cable for the project between Zamboanga Del Norte and Cebu was damaged earlier this year.
NGCP said the repair of the damaged portions would require another round of procurement, awarding and scheduling of cable laying, which are also affected by the consistent quarantine restrictions, specifically when it comes to cable shipping and availability of foreign experts.
The process of cable laying will also depend on the weather and tide conditions.