Submarine cable line to connect Catanduanes to Luzon Grid

south luzon grid

Government-owned National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) has signed a deal with the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperatives (FICELCO) for the installation of undersea cables to connect the island province to the Luzon Grid.

Upon completion, this would also serve as the first intra-connection between Luzon Island itself and an outlying island in the Luzon group.

TransCo said it has forged a memorandum of agreement with FICELCO for the construction and installation of a 69-kilovolt (kV) sub-transmission submarine electric cable lines from Presentacion or Caramoan, Camarines Sur to San Andres, Catanduanes.

Under the agreement, TransCo will conduct feasibility studies, including the hydrographic analysis for the interconnection’s engineering design. The state-run grid owner will also be responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the project.

TransCo will also be establishing an Island Control Center and a telecommunications system, as well as help FICELCO develop, maintain, and operate the transmission system. 

TransCo President and CEO Atty. Melvin Matibag said the partnership will help the company’s plan to interconnect small island grids to the Luzon Grid to address the persistent power-related issues. 

Catanduanes and other islands in the Luzon group are not connected to the Luzon Grid, which only covers Luzon itself, including Camarines Sur. At present, only the Visayas Grid has intra-connections between islands through submarine cables.

TransCo will kickstart the operation and maintenance of the sub-transmission connection, but will later on turn these over to FICELCO.

“By interconnecting our small islands to the main grid and performing independent SO, disputes among the service providers and controversies related to the procurement of power supply shall be put to an end,” Matibag said in a statement. 

TransCo was mandated by the Department of Energy to be the off-grid SO for any small-grid or off-grid power system with more than one power supplier.