By Myrna M. Velasco – October 3, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
Planned projects for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities had been listed by the Department of Energy (DOE) to be among the ventures it could accommodate for energy projects of national significance (EPNS) certification.
In an update report issued by the Energy Investment Coordinating Council (EICC) on Monday (October 1), it roped in LNG projects as well as other gas infrastructure facilities as those that could qualify for EPNS declaration.
The other projects being enticed by the energy department are power plants; conventional oil, gas and coal exploration and development ventures; as well as renewable energy installations like geothermal, solar, hydropower, ocean and wind.
The department has nevertheless excluded biomass projects with operating contracts, and not those having service contracts.
The EPNS certification bestowed on energy projects is underpinned by Executive Order No. 30 that was issued by President Rodrigo Duterte June last year – aiming in particular to lessen approval processes of key energy projects to at least 30 days.
For an energy project to be classified as EPNS, the required capital investment shall be at least P3.5 billion; must have contribution to the country’s economic development and balance of payment.
At the same time, it shall have significant impact on the environment; must have complex technical processes and/or engineering designs; and must have significant infrastructure requirement.
Of the 23 accepted applications for EPNS, the DOE already granted approvals to four projects – including the P52-billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project; the US$3.0-billion Atimonan coal-fired power venture; the Kalinga geothermal power project of the Sy Group; and the 151.2MW Talim wind power project of Island Wind Energy Corporation.
As of Monday, the energy department noted that it already declined two projects; while 17 more are under evaluation.
The DOE emphasized that it received as many as 306 EPNS applications, but 289 had already been notified of non-compliance as to form or documentary requirements.