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SNAP seeks ‘nat’l significance’ certification for new project

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By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor

SN ABOITIZ POWER (SNAP) has submitted its latest hydroelectric project for inclusion in the Energy department’s list of certified energy projects of national significance (CEPNS), the government’s policy that aims to hasten the development of new power plants.

“We hope to enjoin and get their support and advocacy for this project,” said Joseph S. Yu, SNAP president and chief executive officer, in an interview last week.

He said the company’s application was submitted in late September, making it among the latest addition to the hundred of applications so far received by the Department of Energy (DoE) since the President signed Executive Order 30 in June 2017.

DoE, which issued the implementing rules and regulations in April 2018, has so far certified four projects. EO 30 intends to establish a simplified approval process and harmonize the relevant rules and regulations of all government agencies involved in the permitting process.

Mr. Yu said the company had complied with most of the requirements to be certified.

“Four of the five, I think, if I’m not mistaken,” he said, including the cost of the project and its technical complexity.

“At the very least, if it’s a project of national significance it should warrant more attention,” he said.

The project is composed of 20-megawatt (MW) Ollilicon and the 120-MW Alimit hydroelectric power plants. The technical studies for the third component, the 250-MW Alimit pumped storage, have been temporarily suspended due to market constraints.

SNAP was issued the renewable energy service contract for the project in 2014. The signed agreement brings the renewable energy company and Ifugao a step closer toward building the first hydropower facility in the province.

On Oct. 4, SNAP and the municipal governments of Aguinaldo, Lagawe and Mayoyao signed a framework agreement on the proposed Alimit hydropower complex in Ifugao province.

The agreement outlines the cooperation, collaboration and obligations between and among SNAP as project proponent and the municipalities as hosts during the development and operation phase of the project.

“It took us four years to achieve this milestone. What we are trying to build here are a partnership and a relationship with our stakeholders. We can achieve these. If we are all willing to commit, we have a better chance of succeeding,” Mr. Yu said in a statement during the weekend.

SNAP is a developer and operator of 100% renewable energy facilities. It is a joint venture of SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp. It owns and operates the 380-MW Magat hydro on the border of Isabela and Ifugao; the 8.5-MW Maris hydro in Isabela; the 105-MW Ambuklao hydro in Benguet; and the 140-MW Binga hydro also in Benguet.