Visayas and Mindanao grids linkage still under testing


THE P52-billion interconnection project that will link the Visayas and Mindanao grids continues to undergo testing, according to an official of the Department of Energy (DOE).

DOE officials earlier said the Mindanao Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will be 80-percent complete by end March and completed by June.

Through the MVIP, the Mindanao grid will be linked to the Visayas grid via an HVDC (high voltage direct current) system with a 450-mwgawatt (MW) initial capacity.

As of Wednesday afternoon, DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said the project is not yet finished. “The MVIP was supposed to be finished last March 31. What happened was when they started testing and commissioning, they started with 80 MW, to be increased until we reach July with 425MW back and forth,” she said via Viber.

For now, Guevara said the ongoing tests involved “one way only and they have to do the lines one by one.”

She explained, “The one going to Visayas or going to Mindanao should run first. When both are already running, then they can do the 225MW half capacity back and forth. That will happen sometime in June, and then 450MW by the time we reach July.”

DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said last month that the MVIP was expected to be completed by end of June.

“According to NGCP, the interconnection between Mindanao and Visayas will be 80 percent complete by March. So, some of the extra power from the 450 MW… 80 percent of that can be transported to the Visayas to Cebu. Then, by June 30, that will be fully completed,” Lotilla had said.

Another NGCP vital transmission project expected to be completed on June 30 is the Cebu-Negros-Panay interconnection. “If those things are realized, we can have the stranded power from Negros also transported to Cebu and we can also have part of that go to Luzon,” Lotilla earlier said.

The MVIP was certified as an Energy Project of National Significance in 2018 and was initially targeted for completion by December 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine restrictions across the country.

The project covers 184 circuit kilometers (ckm) of submarine cables and 526 ckm of overhead wires connecting Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte to Santander, Cebu.

As of press time, the NGCP has yet to issue a comment.