Permit dispute with Pampanga town halts construction of NGCP substation

WORKERS fix an electric line in Payatas, Quezon City, March 13. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said on Wednesday that households in Pampanga face possible power interruptions after the municipality of San Simon halted construction of a 230-kilovolt (kV) substation in that town.

“Without this substation, the reliability of transmission services in the Pampanga area is threatened, and power interruptions are a real possibility,” the NGCP said in a statement on Wednesday.  

The San Simon 230-kV substation is designed as an alternate source of power for customers connected to the Mexico substation. The NGCP said this will reinforce the reliability and stability of power transmission services in the Luzon grid.

The NGCP said that the order to stop construction was due to incomplete permits and clearances, a claim which the company disputes. The NGCP said it plans to appeal the order.

The San Simon 230-kV substation was among the 29 projects declared by the Energy Investment Coordinating Council as Energy Projects of National Significance (EPNS) in 2019. EPNS status gives projects expedited access to permits.

The Department of Energy said EPNS projects are entitled to fast-track permitting under Executive Order No. 30. — Ashley Erika O. Jose