PH power grid not controlled by Chinese firm -- NGCP

February 03, 2020

THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) yesterday denied that they are being controlled by a Chinese company, stresssng that Filipino engineers are in charge of system operations.

In yesterday’s hearing by the Senate Committee on Energy, NGCP said: “The management and control of System Operations are exercised exclusively by Filipino engineers. Even the specifications of technical equipment sourced from various suppliers were designed by Filipino engineers before purchase orders were made. The fact that a number of these technical equipment were supplied by Chinese entities does not mean that SGCC now exercises control over System Operations.”

This is contrary with TransCo’s claim that  NGCP‘s System Operations is being controlled and operated by China through State Grid Corporation of China or SGCC.  

“Even the specifications of technical equipment sourced from various suppliers were designed by Filipino engineers before purchase orders were made. The fact that a number of these technical equipment were supplied by Chinese entities does not mean that SGCC now exercises control over System Operations,”  NGCP president and CEO Anthony Almeda said.

He explained that there are reasons why the government resorted to privatization in addressing systemic problems to allow better service to the public.

“Massive investments were needed to better transmission facilities; NGCP poured in those massive investments at no cost to the government; NGCP has lowered transmission costs, without need of the former subsidies which depleted public coffers; NGCP remits to the government the amount of P14 to P15B a year in taxes, concession fees and interest, and ERC fees.

“There is therefore no need to ‘take over’ system operations from the Chinese and “turn over” the same to the Filipinos, since the control of the systems operations has always been and remains to be with NGCP,” Almeda explained.  

Almeda  rejected the suggestion that the control over system operations be carved out from NGCP because it is in contrast with the policy of the EPIRA to privatize the improvement, expansion, maintenance and, we stress, operation of the transmission system.  

Almeda stressed the NGCP has met and  even exceeded its obligations in the transmission sector that led to to a lower cost of electricity.  

“NGCP is proud to report that since 2009 until 2019, NGCP has invested billions of pesos to replace and upgrade the aging system into a transmission superhighway capable of fully accommodating the continually increasing power needs of the country,” he said.

He added that they completed numerous projects nationwide in the total amount of P186 billion.

“NGCP has built 5,626 transmission structures and 3,027 circuit-kilometers of transmission lines, and installed 15,634 MegaVolt-Amperes of substation capacity.  

“The NGCP has taken up the government’s directive to loop the entire country as it is currently undertaking the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP).  

“More importantly, under the regulatory supervision of the ERC, the average transmission rates have dramatically gone down from 73 centavos per kilowatt hour  in 2009 to 51 centavos per kilowatt hour in 2019, to the benefit of the consumers.   Simply put,  power brings progress and  NGCP delivers.  

“Dahil sa EPIRA, malayo na po ang narating ng power sector kumpara noong nagka-power crisis. To now authorize the carving out of system operations, as suggested by TransCo, would defeat the very objective of privatization under the EPIRA, “ he said.