NGCP reports delays in transmission projects due to quarantine

CRITICAL TRANSMISSION line projects will be further delayed due to the variable enforcement of quarantine and coronavirus disease testing protocols by local government units, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

“NGCP is eager to finish its critical projects as close to the original timelines as possible,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Among priority projects that were stalled include the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), the Western Luzon Backbone project, and the San Jose-Quezon 230 kilo-volt Line 3 project, which are all certified as energy projects of national significance by the Department of Energy (DoE).

“Project schedules are continually reassessed as varying degrees of community quarantine remain in effect,” it said.

The company said it takes between two and four months under quarantine rules to complete a project that typically takes a month.

“This means that if a project was set to be completed within four months… the new estimated time of completion (will be) eight to 16 months,” it said.

“These targets continue to move as we remain bound by health and safety considerations,” it added.

In August, the DoE said it ordered the company to fast-track the implementation of the P52-billion MVIP. It was initially expected to be completed this year but it is now projected to be complete by 2021.

NGCP said it needs to comply with rules requiring mandatory swab testing of project personnel, securing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results from contractors, and facilitate permits to bring its workers to areas with high levels of infection.

The company is asking the government for assistance to allow the entry of its foreign consultants and to rationalize lockdown protocols to minimize project delays. — Adam J. Ang

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