BusinessWeek Mindanao Online
July 23, 2014
TWO of the countryâ€™s leading power companies have joined hands to bring a new level of excellence in power distribution in Mindanao.
â€œThe Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (CEPALCO) has contracted MERALCO Industrial Engineering Services Corporation (MIESCOR) to undertake the Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) of its 138 kV/69 kV Substation in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental with two (2) 150 MVA power transformers,â€ said Ms. Marilyn A. Chavez, senior manager, CEPALCO Customer & Community Relations Department.
â€œThe Scope of Work for this component of the EPCC contract includes the detailed design, manufacturing, supply, delivery, erection, installation, system integration and testing and commissioning of the 138/69kV Substation, plus associated telecommunication and protection facilities,â€ she added.
MIESCOR is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippinesâ€™ largest electric utility, the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) while CEPALCO is the countryâ€™s fourth, and second largest in Mindanao.
Since its incorporation in December 1973, MIESCOR has chalked up an exemplary record of engineering performance backed up by a pool of highly competent technical manpower. The company has amassed a wealth of experience in power generation, transmission and distribution, petrochemical/chemical and industrial plants, water resources, transportation and telecommunication system and building services.
The project is expected to take 427 Calendar days. By June 30, 2014 the substation is expected to be capable of transmitting back-feed power supply and completed by July 31, 2015.
Ms. Chavez said the project was spurred by CEPALCOâ€™s load growth in the 69 kV and below systems which have substantially increased over the past three years due to recent developments in large industrial and commercial loads.
â€œCritical to these developments is the assurance that these locators will be provided with adequate and reliable power supply,â€ she noted.
Currently, majority of the CEPALCOâ€™s residential, commercial and industrial customers in the entire franchise area are being indirectly served by the 69 kV backbone sub -transmission system before they are stepped-down to the medium-voltage (34.5 kV and 13.8 kV) and low-voltage (230 volts) distribution systems.
â€œThe ground breaking for the construction of CEPALCOâ€™s first ever 138 kV substation is another milestone and confirmation of our commitment to meet the growing needs of our valued customers, especially with the remarkable business boom within CEPALCOâ€™s service area,â€ said Consuelo G. Tion, CEPALCO President and Chief Operating Officer during the ground breaking rites held 22 July 2014 at the project site in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
â€œIt is with joy and pride that I welcome all of you to this momentous event because I have been a witness to how much CEPALCO has grown over the years, and our accomplishments in terms of continuously improving the quality of our services to customers show how strong and committed we are as a service company,â€ she added.
â€œWe are proud to be CEPALCOâ€™s partner in its first 138kV substation,â€ said Engr. Angelito D. Bermudo, MIESCOR President and CEO, â€œHowever, we are convinced Mindanao has a vast potential beyond this initial engagement and we look forward to undertake more projects in this region soon.â€
Aside from the new substation, MIESCOR is also building the Tagoloan-Balingasag 138kV sub-transmission line for Minergy Coal Corporation, another wholly-owned affiliate of CEPALCO.
The sub-transmission line will interconnect the 110MW coal fired power plant of Minergy Coal in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental to the distribution system of CEPALCO. Rated at 138 kV and configured as a double-circuit in steel pole structures, the 37-km line will be constructed using 785 MCM ACSR conductors with 3/8 inch diameter Optical Fiber Ground Wire (OFGW) as its neutral. Its route will be along the National highway.
Besides the two ancillary projects for Minergyâ€™s coal fired power plant, MIESCOR is also concurrently constructing a new substation for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Opol, Misamis Oriental on a four-hectare site along the national highway in Barangay Awang, Opol some 15.5 kilometers west of its Carmen substation.
NGCP said in an earlier statement the planned Opol substation would reinforce the 60-kilometer Lugait-Carmen 69-kilovolt (kV) line constructed in 1966 which has already been experiencing a 90 percent peak load of its rated capacity. The grid operator estimates peak load could reach 103 percent this year hence the urgent need to replace it with the Opol 138-kv line.
â€œRapid progress in Misamis Oriental necessitates the construction of a new, strategically-located substation to accommodate customersâ€™ loads and eliminate possible line overloading and voltage problem,â€ the NGCP said. â€œWith the projected economic progress and load growth, both the line and substation would no longer meet the increasing demand requirements in the next few years.â€
The three projects together represent a PhP 2.2-billion investment in the Misamis Oriental towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan and Balingasag in the provinceâ€™s east coast and Opol in the West.
Mr. Bermudo said the three projects proximity to each other in terms of area and timeline will enable MIESCOR to leverage its strategic advantages for the benefit of its clients, especially its newly acquired state-of-the-art software. By Mike Banos, Editor-at-large.