Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Korea gives P150M grant for INEC’s voltage upgrading project

(From left) Bosung Powertec Co. president Lim Jae Hwang, INEC general manager Engr. Felino Herbert P. Agdigos, NEA administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, KEPCO president Go, Jae Han, INEC board president Reynaldo M. Lazo show the terms of references they signed for the INEC project. (INEC photo)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz

Dingras, Ilocos Norte—The Korean government through the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) officially awarded a grant for a distribution voltage upgrading project to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC).

KIAT formalized the grant in a signing ceremony for the “Terms of Reference” between the Philippines and Korea on January 22, 2018 at INEC’s Dingras main office.

National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong, representing the Philippines being the supervisory agency of the project, signed the document with KIAT Vice President Park Sang-Yi, representing Korea.

Also joining the signing were INEC Board President Reynaldo “Rey” M. Lazo and INEC General Manager Felino Herbert P. Agdigos, representing INEC, the implementing agency.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) President Go, Jae Han and Bosung Powertec Co. President Lim, Jae Hwang, were also on hand during the ceremony.

In his message, Mr. Masongsong highlighted the importance of the project by providing the highest quality of service to the coop’s member-consumers.

He also commended INEC for consistently achieving AAA Category or the highest category of NEA’s yearly performance evaluation.

“This is a product of your good performance and the Korean government wants you to be more effective and more efficient,” he stressed.

The grant totals 3.5 billion Korean won, or PHP150 million if converted to the local currency. The grant represents the industrial cooperation and exchange of industrial technology in the electricity sector between the Korean and Philippine governments.

The project mainly aims to provide support in the engineering, procurement and construction for the voltage upgrading of distribution lines in the northern part of Ilocos Norte from 13.2kV to 22.9kV of distribution feeders 2C and 2D of the Burgos Sub-station of INEC.

The approximately 70 kilometers of existing distribution line supplies the areas of the municipalities of Burgos, Bangui, Dumalneg, Pagudpud except Brgys. Pancian and Pasaleng; and Brgys. Davila and Dilavo of Pasuquin.

Mr. Agdigos said that the project is set for a period of two years.

The Ilocos Times learned that experts have surveyed the project. They inspected and evaluated the project in June, 2017, followed by a 10-day training for INEC engineers in Korea in December 2017.

Relative to this, Mr. Agdigos said INEC already started the preparation of staging and storage area for equipment and materials needed.

He added that the grant is not in cash but materials for the upgrading. This includes the replacement of the existing lines to accommodate higher voltage and the need for the replacement of insulators, sub-station, porcelain, wires, posts and others.

INEC is the 1st electric cooperative beneficiary in the Philippines to receive such a grant from the Korean government. INEC will pay for the import duties and taxes for the materials for the project. This serves as INEC’s counterpart funding for the project.

INEC records show that the project areas, which are located at the coastal areas of the province facing the West Philippine Sea frequently experience voltage fluctuations and unscheduled power interruptions due to the vulnerability of the distribution system to corrosion caused by the salinity of the wind in the area.

Addanto la pannaka-affektar dagiti member-consumerstayo inton i-transfertayo diay old lines into new lines. Actually, dayta iti agdama nga ad-adalenmi tapnu mai-minimize kuma tapnu addanto kuma latta korienteda uray madama iti trabahoda kasi adunto ti interruptionsna. Uray ta kalpasanto met daytoyen ket napintasto ti epektona kaniadan ta pumintasto tay boltahe ti korientedan ken puminpintas iti serbisio,” Mr. Agdigos said.

Mr. Agdigos expressed his deepest gratitude to the Korean government through the KIAT for granting this big project and to NEA for endorsing this project to the Korean government and choosing INEC to be the beneficiary.

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