NGCP appeals for gov’t, military help as Mindanao ROW issue escalates PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 October 2015 16:14

System operator NGCP is seeking the immediate assistance of the government and members of the Philippine Army as its right-of-way (ROW) woes breached critical level with the sustained tripping of the Agus 2-Kibawe Line 1 in Mindanao at 9:39AM on October 17.

“The tripping of the line was caused by a fallen tree cutting the line conductors. This leaves NGCP with only one line catering to the Agus 1 and 2 power plants and threatening the entire Mindanao island with complete isolation from these hydropower plants should the remaining line become unavailable,” the company stated.

The situation is further aggravated as landowners are refusing entry to NGCP personnel deployed to clear and restore these lines which are vital to the grid. “It has become the practice of some uncooperative landowners to intentionally plant trees or build structures under high voltage transmission lines, and demand for recompense when we seek entry into the property to conduct maintenance activities. The trees and other structures under our facilities breach our safety clearances and endanger the reliability of the entire grid,” NGCP stressed.

The company is sending an urgent request to the Department of Energy (DOE) and Philippine Army to assist in the negotiations with landowners and clearing of the lines, respectively, as soon as possible. The frequent dips in voltage and frequency severely affect both household appliances and industrial equipment.

“NGCP is seeking all avenues of support, from the DOE to the military to the public. We are also appealing to the local government units for a resolution prohibiting tree-planting and building any structure under transmission lines. This does not only affect NGCP or the hydroplants, which form the bulk of their power supply, but all the power consumers in Mindanao stand to bear even longer power interruptions,” the company said.

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation, led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner.