SC’s TRO stalls completion of 500kV Bataan line: NGCP


The full completion of the Hermosa-San Jose 500-kiloVolt (kV) transmission line has been stalled due to a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said.

A TRO was issued against the expropriation and construction on a portion of the Hermosa-San Jose 500kV Line (HSJ) owned by Phirst Park Homes Inc. (PPHI). Upon receipt on July 6, 2023, the NGCP immediately stopped project-related activities along towers 170-178 of the line, stalling the ongoing stringing of the line’s remaining circuit, it added.

The HSJ was already energized May 27, 2023 to accommodate power generation from Bataan. However, the court prohibition will affect the remaining works for its full completion. It currently has a transfer capacity of 2,000MW, only a quarter of the full 8,000MW capacity of lines 1 and 2, which cannot be accomplished due to the work stoppage following the TRO.

“Regrettably, it appears that the petition filed by PPHI is merely one of its tactics to obstruct NGCP from finalizing the project, despite numerous rounds of negotiations and proposed out-of-court settlements between the involved parties,” the NGCP said in its press release Feb. 6.

It added that it has repeatedly reached out to PPHI to settle the issue amicably. “As early as February this year, negotiations with PPHI have been ongoing. NGCP had to seek the assistance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to proceed with construction activities, which PPHI continually tried to block despite the valid permits and writs of possession under NGCP’s favor.”

NGCP made it clear to PPHI that the HSJ 500kV Line is an energy project of national significance (EPNS), and its completion and energization are critical to prevent Luzon-wide power interruptions.

“NGCP has repeatedly expressed its willingness to negotiate further. Still, we assert that the project’s activities can no longer be delayed given the greater national interest in the project’s immediate completion,” the company added. ||