Bacolod: Power grid project touted to propel Visayas growth

photo courtesy of The Daily Guardian

Bacolod City – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has underscored the pivotal role of the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) 230 kilovolt (kV) backbone project in addressing the long-standing power supply challenges faced by the Negros and Panay sub-grids.

The project, completed by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), is expected to alleviate the serious economic setbacks experienced in these regions.

Upon his arrival in Bacolod City on Monday for the ceremonial energization, President Marcos hailed the CNP as “a milestone in our pursuit to enhance the resilience and reliability of our power infrastructure, especially in this area.”

Emphasizing the project’s broader impact, the President stated, “CNP will also address the surging energy demands in the area and propel the socio-economic advancement of Regions VI and VII to new heights.”

With a combined population of approximately 16 million, the urgency for a robust and reliable energy infrastructure in Western and Central Visayas is more pressing than ever. President Marcos celebrated the ceremonial energization of the CNP, calling it a “remarkable feat of collaboration and innovation,” and lauded the NGCP’s successful completion of the project.

The President commended the NGCP for the project’s successful completion and discussed the integration of power systems across Panay and Negros Islands.

He pointed out Negros’ substantial solar power generation, which has remained largely untapped.

“There is nearly 500 Megawatts stranded in the northern part of Negros Island—unused. These transmission lines will make that power accessible where it’s needed,” he explained.

After an aerial survey, President Marcos acknowledged the vast scope of the project, which not only spans the Visayas islands but also serves as a vital connector to Cebu, synergizing independent power systems across the region.

“We flew over a small section. It’s just a fragment of the entire project that spans from here to the Barotac Nuevo (Iloilo) substation, where the submarine cable connects to Cebu, integrating the independent power systems.”

In 2022, the two regions contributed a robust PHP 2.24 trillion to the national economy. As both the population and economy expand, so must the power supply, the President noted.

“No region can become an economic powerhouse without a reliable power supply. An insufficient power transmission system can cripple a dynamic economy,” he stated.

President Marcos Jr. also stressed that power outages hinder progress and called for the power system to be a catalyst for development.

The President emphasized that as the population and economy expand, so too must the power supply.

“A dynamic economy cannot be realized without a reliable supply of power and an adequate power transmission system,” President Marcos added, stressing that power outages are a hindrance to progress and that the power system must be the catalyst for development.

Looking to the future, President Marcos called upon stakeholders to identify strategic locations for new baseload generation plants, renewable energy, and energy storage systems to bolster energy sufficiency and sustainability in Negros and Panay Islands.

He also encouraged private generators to invest in the sub-grids to ensure long-term energy self-sufficiency.

NGCP President Anthony Almeda echoed the President’s remarks, describing the energization of the CNP as “a significant step towards ensuring a stable transmission grid in the Philippines.”

“This monumental milestone signifies a significant advancement in stabilizing the Philippine transmission grid, and we are privileged to have spearheaded its completion.”

He expressed pride in NGCP’s commitment to providing reliable electricity infrastructure, which has seen the completion of several major projects under the current administration.

“This strengthens the link between three major islands of the Visayas and will provide a more reliable transfer of power to support the fast-growing economies of the provinces in the islands of Cebu, Negros, and Panay,” Almeda stated.

He recounted the NGCP’s efforts over the past year, successfully energizing major projects and demonstrating a commitment to reliable electricity infrastructure.

“The CNP reinforces the connection among three major Visayan islands, ensuring a more dependable power transfer to support the rapidly growing economies of Cebu, Negros, and Panay,” Almeda added.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez welcomed the project’s completion, anticipating fewer power outages as a direct benefit. (Dolly Yasa via The Daily Guardian)

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