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Energy projects fetch P682-B investments

By Myrna M. Velasco

The flurry of blueprinted ventures that were certified as “energy projects of national significance” (EPNS) cornered total investments of P681.94 billion, according to the Department of Energy-led Energy Investment Coordinating Council.

The department said it received 393 applications for EPNS projects as of June 17 this year; and out of the total, 145 projects were granted with certifications; while 31 applicants are still under evaluation.

The number of denied applications summed up to 142 projects; while 74 projects were returned or their proponents have been notified of non-compliance to form and/or documentary requirements.

The EPNS projects are those that qualify to be extended with streamlined project permitting and licenses, preferably an approval within 30 days, as prescribed under Executive Order No. 30 that was issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.

Among the big-ticket projects with EPNS certifications are the P51 billion Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project (VMIP) of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP); the proposed US$1.0 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility of First Gen Corporation at its Clean Energy Complex in Batangas; the US$1.7 billion Dinginin coal-fired power plant joint venture of the Aboitiz and Ayala groups; the proposed US$1.0 billion Alimit hydropower project of the Aboitiz Group; and the planned US$3.0 billion Atimonan coal-fired power project of Meralco PowerGen Corporation, the power investment subsidiary of Manila Electric Company.

Other than the VMIP, private transmission firm NGCP similarly proposed 28 more projects with approved cost of P90.291 billion and had already been given go-signal for implementation by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The NGCP transmission projects are critical expansion and reinforcement of facilities to address load growth and power supply reliability in the country’s electricity system.

“The issuance of EPNS by the EICC is critical for the on-time completion of these projects,” the company said; while noting that streamlined approvals and permitting “will enable us to expedite our plans and programs and efficiently cater to the needs of our stakeholders to provide a more resilient power grid.”

The other EPNS-certified projects are the power facilities being installed by state-run National Power Corporation (NPC) along off-grid areas in various parts of the country, so quality of life and economic activities can be spurred in these jurisdictions.

Also in the DOE-EICC’s roll are the 600MW Pagbilao LNG integrated power and import facility venture; the Kalinga geothermal project of Aragorn Power and Energy Corporation; Talim wind power project of Island Wind Energy Corporation; Kibungan Badeo pumped storage project of Coheco Badeo Corporation; Masbate coal-fired plant of DMCI Power Corporation; biogas power plant of First Quezon Biogas Corporation; Pangasinan waste-to-energy project of Green Atom Renewable Energy Corporation; Sarangani solar power project of Total Power Inc.; Kauswagan coal-fired plant of GNPower Ltd. Co.; Ilaguen hydropower project of Rio Norte Hydro Corporation; Rizal wind power project of Rizal Wind Energy Corporation; Palawan coal-fired power project of DMCI Power; Sablan 1 hydropower project of Hedcor Inc. of the Aboitiz group; Mindoro harvest energy power block of Power One Corporation; Maladugao hydroelectric power project of Bukidnon Maladugao Hydropower Corporation; Mahanagdong geothermal optimization project of Energy Development Corporation; and the Mount Malinao geothermal project of Philippine Geothermal.

Two oil and gas exploration projects are also in the list; as proposed by Galoc Production Company at the Galoc oil field in Palawan; and the Service Contract 59 of state-run Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation along offshore southwest Palawan.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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