DOE Gives Mass Approval to Energy Projects

By Myrna M. Velasco, Manila Bulletin

The roll of “energy projects of national significance” (EPNS) had been extraordinarily beefed up with the mass approval extended by the Department of Energy (DOE) to proposed power facilities—primarily for projects lined up by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and state-run National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR).

By itself, the biggest project that was granted a certificate of energy project of national significance (CEPNS) is the 1,338-megawatt GNPower Dinginin coal-fired power project in Mariveles, Bataan.

The $1.7-billion coal-fired power project utilizes super critical boiler technology. It is a joint venture of the Ayala and Aboitiz groups and due for completion next year.

The other projects that were granted certifications as EPNS are RE facilities, including the 100MW Total Power, Inc. facility in Sarangani province; and the 6MW Pangasinan Green Atom waste-to-energy venture.

It is the hope of project sponsors that permitting processes on their proposed installations be streamlined and fast-tracked if they secure EPNS certification.

For NGCP, roughly 30 transmission line installation and system upgrade projects had been certified as EPNS, as specified in DOE documents.

These include the 115-kilovolt San Jose transmission line upgrading project; 230kV San Jose-Quezon (Balintawak) transmission line; 230kV Manila (Navotas) substation; 230kV Pasay substation; Taguig extra-high voltage (EHV) substation; 230kV Taguig-Taytay transmission line; Marilao extra-high voltage substation; Manila (Navotas)-Doña Imelda 230kV transmission line; and the 230kV Bataan grid reinforcement project.

The others are the 500kV Mariveles-Hermosa transmission line; Pagbilao extra high voltage substation; 500kV Hermosa-San Jose transmission line; 230kV Tuguegarao-Magapit transmission line; 230kV Calaca-Dasmariñas transmission line; Tuy 500/230kV substation project-stage 1; 500kV Western backbone stage 1; Batangas-Mindoro interconnection; 230kV Ambuklao-Binga 230kV transmission line upgrading; and 230kV Binga-San Manuel transmission line.

The longer list also include the 230kV Nagsaag-San Manuel transmission line; 500kV Pagbilao-Tayabas transmission line; 69kV Hermosa-Floridablanca transmission line; 230kV Calamba substation; 69kV Clark-Mabiga transmission line; 230kV Tanauan substation; 69kV Concepcion-Sta. Ignacia transmission line; 69kV Nagsaag-Tumana transmission line; 230kV San Simon substation; and 230kV Pinili substation.

For NPC-sponsored power projects at its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) domain, there are more than 20 proposed installations that secured EPNS certifications.

Many of these power plant ventures are diesel-fired facilities and deployed in various off-grid areas in the country.

Following the privatization of its big-ticket power assets, NPC’s main residual function is to energize heaps of the country’s island-grid and far-flung areas.

Approvals on the new CEPNS ventures had been from November 27 last year to January 16, 2019, according to documents released by the energy department.

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