Ilocos media briefed on energy industry

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) officials have conferred with Ilocos media practitioners recently and discussed the firm’s role in the country’s energy industry.

In a press briefing, the NGCP officials said the company began operating in 2007 after it won a bid to run the country’s electricity transmission grid, a function that was formerly carried out by the government-owned National Transmission Commission (Transco).

Owned by President Henry Sy, the NGCP holds a concession contract for 25 years.

On January 15, 2008, the company assumed transmission functions for operations and maintenance while the assets are still owned by the government.

However, NGCP has the right to operate, maintain, expand and further strengthen the transmission system and related facilities, including sub-transmission system which had not been disposed of by TransCo, the officials explained.

As the system operator of the power grid, they stressed that the company balances the demand and supply of electricity to efficiently serve all its customers – which are the generators, private distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, government-owned utilities, ecozones, industries, as well as directly connected companies.

Lawyer Cynthia Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, said they have the responsibility of putting online the right mix of power plants that generate the high-voltage electricity and eventually transmit this to the various distribution utilities, which in turn, deliver the electricity at a lower voltage rating to households and other end-users.

After the press briefing, a facility tour was conducted around the Bauang Substation in La Union to familiarize the media on the technical aspect of the power distribution, particularly on the event of power shut down.

The journalists were given a walk-through on the sub-station’s switchyard facility where all the high voltage towers, transmission lines, color-coded voltage distribution lines, lightning arrester, transformers and steel towers connected to the different power plants like are located.

The control room, where the kilowatt distribution control per area/electric cooperative is located and manned 24/7 by control engineers, was also presented to the newsmen.

This, according to Engr. Benjamin Saraza, Ilocos Area Operations and Maintenance Head, is where they can find the source of power interruptions in a particular area of distribution.

The print and broadcast media men were accompanied during the tour by Engr. Saraza; Engr. Lorenzo Cabacungan, Chief Engineer for District 1 Substation; and Lilybeth Gaydowen, Regional Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Officer. (JCR/MPA-PIA1 La Union)