• 03/20/2019
  • 06:05 AM
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RDC SEEKS PRRD’S HELP TO FAST-TRACK C. VISAYAS POWER PROJECTS



POWER PROJECTS. Regional Development Council - Infrastructure Development Committee (RDC-IDC) Central Visayas chair Glen Soco (second from left) discusses the motion to pass a resolution asking President Rodrigo R. Duterte to include the Cebu-Bohol 230-kV interconnection and Cebu-Negros-Panay 230-kV backbone in the "energy projects of national significance" to fast-track their implementation. With him are National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-7 Regional Director Efren Carreon (left), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-7 Planning Officer Nonato Palyado, and Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas representative Titus Borromeo, during the IDC meeting, March 8, 2019. (Photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY — To cope with the rising demand for power amidst the rapid development in Central Visayas, the Regional Development Council (RDC) is determined to seek presidential intervention to fast-track two important power expansion projects in the Visayas.

RDC-7 Chair Kenneth Cobonpue told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview that the body sees the need to include the Cebu-Bohol interconnection and Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone projects among the “energy projects of national significance” (EPNS).

The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) passed a resolution in its March 8 meeting, recommending to the RDC Full Council to request President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene in the Cebu-Bohol interconnection and Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone projects and include it in the EPNS, Cobonpue said.

IDC chair Glen Soco, in a separate interview with the PNA, said they believe that President Duterte’s intervention will fast-track the implementation of the two power projects in the region.

The Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone project, which is expected to generate 230kV electricity, will be implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) via submarine cables interconnecting Negros and Cebu, traversing Tañon Strait crossing from Barangay Talavera, Toledo City to Barangay San Isidro, Calatrava, Negros Occidental. The 230-kV Cebu-Bohol interconnection has a power transfer capacity of 400 megawatts, almost six times larger than the 90-MW capacity of the existing link from Leyte.

This power link includes a 29-kilometer overhead line from Dumanjug to Argao in Cebu; a 30-km Argao submarine cable from Argao, Cebu to Loon, Bohol; and a 26-km overhead line from Loon to the substation in Corella in Bohol.

“President Duterte needs to intervene to make this power interconnection projects materialize the soonest possible time. Bureaucracy in the local government units has caused delay in obtaining permits necessary for these projects,” Soco said.

A copy of the IDC resolution obtained by PNA said “the IDC-subcommittee on power last 18 February 2019, concerns on the potential delay in the implementation and completion of the NGCP projects arising from the delay in issuance of the needed government permits and clearances, and right-of-way acquisition problems were raised”.

The Transmission Development Plan 2014-2015 of NGCP identified the Cebu-Negros-Panay 230-kV backbone (stage 3) and Cebu-Bohol 23-kV interconnection as projects that will “accommodate excess generation from baseload and renewable energy plants,” the resolution said.

It will “address the increasing demand of power” and “improve the reliability of power supply in Central Visayas”.

According to the resolution, these “projects will also maintain grid stability and security and are deemed critical to the sustained growth” of the region and its neighboring regions in the Visayas.

Cobonpue said the Cebu-Bohol interconnection is targeted to be finished by December of 2021 and the Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone by December of 2020.

“Central Visayas has a promising economy right now. We need to hurdle all important components such as the power industry in order to deal with the inevitable requirements of development,” he pointed out. (PNA)

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