NGCP wants gov’t recognition of its P300 B worth of investments

At a glance

  • The operator of a power transmission system of a country has a critical role in the overall provision of electricity services to consumers - from balancing supply and demand in the grid, ensuring grid security to supporting the integration of renewable energy (RE) capacities.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said that government should give weight to the P300 billion worth of investments it had injected into the country’s power transmission network in reaction to the In reaction to the Malacanang pronouncement that the government may take back the operations of transmission firm.

“We are confident that the improvements we have introduced  and the P300 billion we have invested to strengthening the transmission system will be recognized,” NGCP Assistant Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications Cynthia P. Alabanza said.

On the myriad of issues raised against the company, including those on possible incursion of the Chinese in the operation of the transmission system, under-investments as well as delayed projects, she noted that “NGCP is fully cognizant that its  franchise is a privilege granted to it by government. We remain ready to answer any and all questions raised concerning how we do business.”

Alabanza added  “we have faith in the legal process and we will continue to comply with all lawful directives, and pursue our mandate faithfully.”

NGCP’s operations had been placed under fresh round of intense scrutiny following the series of rotational blackouts that afflicted Visayas grid on April 27-29 and Luzon grid on May 8-9 – wherein the incidents had been linked to tripping of transmission lines.

Already, the Department of Energy (DOE) emphasized the need for performance audit on the company that will cover its adherence to regulatory processes as well as in complying with the contractual provisions of its Concession Agreement with the government.

Senate Committee on Energy Vice Chairman Sherwin T.Gatchalian similarly filed a resolution calling on the Senate “to conduct an inquiry into the series of disturbances in the country’s power transmission system in the hope of ensuring a reliable and continuous electricity supply.”

The lawmaker stressed “these successive transmission system disturbances caused inconvenience to communities and losses to businesses. The NGCP as the operator of the transmission system in the country should be held to account for the root cause of these disturbances.”

In response to that, Alabanza told media that “we have to coordinate with power plants if their settings are consistent with ours - it has to be consistent with the settings submitted and tested by NGCP at the time they were connected.”

On the recurrence of delayed transmission projects, the NGCP spokesperson admitted that “there are inadequacies, but we are not the only and all-encompassing solution to strengthening the grid. We have to look at how we can maximize, so we don’t always look at transmission if there is another sector who can better and more efficiently address issues.”

And on the country’s rollout of massive renewable energy (RE) projects, Alabanza emphasized that “although we support the technologies when it comes to supply, we have to see how responsive our current regulatory measures are to address nuances of variable, new, and emerging technologies.”

She further stated “we need to consider if the quickest solution is from the grid or from these new technologies, or other sectors of the industry, and even through policy and regulation, and ensure harmony in the system.”