TRO lifting to facilitate completion of NGCP Bataan-Bulacan transmission line

THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it will now seek to complete the Hermosa-San Jose (HSJ) 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line linking Bataan to Bulacan after the Supreme Court lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the project.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NGCP said that the High Court issued a resolution dated Feb. 28 and promulgated April 8, lifting the TRO issued in July 2023.

“We are happy that the Supreme Court thoroughly studied the case and found no merit in the petitions filed against NGCP. This will enable us to complete the remaining portion of the HSJ which will (facilitate) bulk generation coming in from Bataan,” the NGCP said.

The TRO sought to freeze the expropriation of land and construction on a portion of the line owned by Phirst Park Homes, Inc. (PPHI), resulting in a nine-month construction delay.

Upon receipt of the TRO, the NGCP said it halted activity along Towers 170-178 of the line, “stalling the ongoing stringing of the line’s remaining circuit.”

“The case filed by PPHI and the subsequent court prohibition affected the works remaining for full completion, halting construction works from July 2023 to April 2024,” the grid operator said.

The Hermosa-San Jose project currently has a transfer capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW), a quarter of the full 8,000 MW capacity of Lines 1 and 2 pending the completion of the unfinished portion of the line.

With the lifting of the TRO, the NGCP said it has resumed stringing activities for the affected section of the line and completed Line 1 on May 19, allowing the transmission of 4,000 MW.

Line 2 is expected to be finished in mid-July.

The P17.3-billion Hermosa-San Jose transmission line was initially energized in May last year.

It traverses the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan, and serves as a major component of the planned Luzon 500-kV transmission backbone. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera