CEBU CITY — The Regional Development Council 7 is determined to seek the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track two important power expansion projects in the Visayas - the Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone and Cebu-Bohol interconnection - to cope with the rising demand for power amidst the rapid development in the region.
RDC-7 chair Kenneth Cobonpue said the Council sees the need to include the projects among the “energy projects of national significance (EPNS)”.
The Infrastructure Development Committee passed a resolution during its March 8 meeting, recommending to the RDC Full Council to request Duterte to intervene in the Cebu-Bohol interconnection and Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone projects and include it in the EPNS, he added.
The Cebu-Negros-Panay backbone project, that is expected to generate 230-kilovolt electricity, will be implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines via submarine cables interconnecting Negros and Cebu, traversing Tañon Strait and crossing from Barangay Talavera, Toledo City to Barangay San Isidro, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
The 230-kV Cebu-Bohol interconnection, meanwhile, has a power transfer capacity of 400 megawatts, almost six times larger than the 90-MW capacity of the existing link from Leyte.
“President Duterte needs to intervene to make the power interconnection projects materialize the soonest possible time. Bureaucracy in the local government units has caused delays in obtaining permits necessary for these projects,” IDC chair Glen Soco said.
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”.
The resolution said 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 next year.*PNA
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