THE Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) has certified as energy projects of national significance several projects led by state-led National Power Corp. (Napocor) and privately owned National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Up to 32 small capacity diesel-fired power plant projects by Napocor and 29 projects by NGCP were issued certification last month by the EICC, an interagency panel led by representatives from the Department of Energy (DoE).
A certificate that an energy project is of national significance entitles project proponents to all the rights privileges provided for under Executive Order 30 series of 2017, including action on the application within 30 working days.
Certified projects also enjoy presumption of prior approval, that is, they are presumed to have already complied with the requirements and permits from other government permitting agencies.
It will be deemed approved if no action is taken five days after the lapse of the 30 working-day period for processing of the application.
All of the certified Napocor projects are for diesel-fired power plants with capacity ranging from as small as 10-kilowatt per unit to as big as 1.5 megawatts (MW). The biggest is the Dinagat diesel-fired power plant, which has two units, each with an identical capacity of 1.5 MW.
The certificates for the Napocor projects were dated either on Jan. 16 or Jan. 29, 2019
The NGCP projects are mostly for the construction or upgrade of transmission lines, while some are substations. One certificate is for the Subic-Olongapo 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission backbone.
Another NGCP project seeks to interconnect power transmission between the island of Mindoro and Batangas province.
The EICC was created pursuant to EO 30, which was issued on June 28, 2017, in order to spearhead and coordinate efforts to harmonize, integrate and streamline the regulatory processes and relevant forms in the development of nationally significant energy investments.
The DoE in the exercise of its supervisory power has the right to amend, alter or revoke the certificate for the pre-development phase in cases of irregularity and violations in the conditions for which the certificate was issued.
The DoE has said that the attributes of a nationally significant project are capital investment of P3.5 billion; significant contribution to the country’s economic development; significant consequential economic impact; significant potential contribution to the country’s balance of payments; significant impact on the environment; significant complex technical processes and engineering designs; and significant infrastructure requirement. — Victor V. Saulon