By Myrna M. Velasco
The 350-megawatt Alimit hydropower project of SN Aboitiz Power Inc. (SNAP) along with two other renewable energy (RE) ventures have been certified energy projects of national significance (CEPNS) by the Department of Energy.
The two other projects had been the 19.7-megawatt Ilaguen hydropower project of Rio Norte Hydro Corp of Filipino firm Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation; then the 600-megawatt Rizal wind energy project of Alternergy Philippine Holdings Corp.
Projects being certified as EPNS are targeted to benefit from streamlined processes of project approvals – based on the mandate of Executive Order No. 30 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2017.
At the time that the policy was enforced, the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) headed by the DoE had been the entity approving the EPNS projects and the final certifications are issued with the signature of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi.
Many projects, however, still cannot move as fast on the permitting terrain, hence the certifications just normally serve as “bragging rights” for these project sponsors.
For the Alimit hydropower project, the joint venture of Aboitiz Power Corporation and Norwegian firm SN Power are anticipated to inject as much as US$1.4 billion capital outlay for the combined installations of the blueprinted 100-megawatt Alimit plant; the 10MW Olilicon plant and the 240MW Alimit pumped storage facility.
The final investment decision (FID) by the principals and board of SNAP, however, has yet to be rendered – and the host community consultation and securing the needed project permits have already been lingering for 4-5 years.
For the Ilaguen hydropower venture, project funding will likely range from US$68 million to US$70 million based on the investment rule-of-thumb for such technology development.
And for the Rizal wind project, cost had already been reduced by almost half since the initial development of wind projects in the Philippines in 2014.
The project corporate vehicle Rizal Wind Energy Corporation has yet to give new details though on the planned facility’s financing as well as the viability of its initially targeted 600MW capacity.