Socoteco investing P70M to upgrade transmission lines

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 4 Oct) – Distribution utility South Cotabato 1 Electric Cooperative (Socoteco 1) is investing around P79 million within the next two years for the upgrading of its transmission lines and other related facilities.

Santiago Tudio, Socoteco 1 general manager, said the project involves the installation of two new 69-kilovolt (kV) lines that will provide additional connections from the area to the main transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the neighboring electric cooperatives.

He said the initial 69-kV line, projected to be laid out starting late this year, will connect Koronadal City to the municipality of Tupi in South Cotabato.

Socoteco 1 serves Koronadal City, eight towns in South Cotabato province and the municipality of Lutayan in Sultan Kudarat.

Tupi town is part of the franchise area of the electric cooperative’s counterpart South Cotabato 2 Electric Cooperative (Socoteco 2).

Tudio said the project cost, based on the capital expenditure or capex application earlier submitted by Socoteco 1 to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), was pegged at around P39 million.

The second 69-kV line, which has an estimated cost of P40 million, will be installed along the boundary of Norala town in South Cotabato and Isulan town in Sultan Kudarat.

Isulan, which is the capital town of Sultan Kudarat province, is served by the Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative (Sukelco).

Tudio said the project was scheduled for implementation by next year to complement with the installation of the line connection between Koronadal City and Tupi town.

“These projects will mainly loop our transmission lines and provide alternative connections to power sources in the area,” he said in a briefing.

He explained that the connection through Tupi town will link up the area to power sources in Sarangani province and parts of the Davao area while the Isulan facility will provide additional linkages to sources in Northern Mindanao.

“This way, our power supplies will be secured in case something goes wrong in either side of the transmission lines,” he explained.

Tudio said the approval of the projects are still pending with the ERC but said they already submitted the required justifications and conducted hearings on the matter.

Following the approval of its ERC application, he said Socoteco 1 will immediately process the funding of the project through a bank loan.

“There are a number of banks who offered to finance the projects but the selection will be done through a bidding sanctioned by the ERC,” Tudio added.