Issue of July 7, 2019
Mt. Province
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DOE endorses Ifugao hydro as project of nat’l significance
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

What is set to be the first hydropower facility in Ifugao province has been certified by the government as a project of national significance.

The Department of Energy recently certified the proposed Alimit hydropower complex project of renewable energy provider SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) in Ifugao as a priority project, as confirmed by SNAP Vice President for Corporate Services Atty. Mike Hosillos.

Hosillos said the certification means the government is committed to prioritize processing all needed permits and licenses so that the project can proceed and built as soon as possible.

The Alimit project is qualified under projects of national significance under the DOE guidelines, which SNAP applied for four months ago.

“DOE recently issued a certificate that this is a project of national significance considering the amount of investment to be put in and the impact of the project to the renewable energy sector and to the energy security of the grid,” Hosillos said.

The Alimit hydro complex will be hosted by the towns of Aguinaldo, Lagawe, Lamut, and Mayoyao, all in Ifugao.

All four municipalities have given the go-signal to the project, with the recent signing of a framework agreement between SNAP and the municipal government of Lamut. 

The agreement outlines the cooperation, collaboration, and obligations between and among SNAP as project proponent and the municipalities as host during the development and operation phase of the project.

The first phase of the project entails the construction of the 120-megawatt Alimit plant and the 20-MW Ollicon plant. The capital outlay for this phase is expected to be between $450 to $550 million. The second phase of the complex includes the 250-MW Alimit pumped storage facility.

Hosillos said SNAP is on the final stages of the feasibility phase of the project.

After securing the most significant permits as well as the environmental compliance certificate and completing the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) process, he said they are now waiting for the approval and issuance of the certificate of precondition from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

Once approved by the SNAP board of directors and after preconstruction activities, the construction may start by late 2021 and completed in five years.

In endorsing the project, then Ifugao Gov. Pedro Mayam-o earlier emphasized the need to develop Ifugao’s rich natural resources with a responsible partner, citing the province’s lack of industries to power its economy.

“Water is a resource we are rich with. We have a very good and sincere company to help us develop this so we can benefit from it. The project will increase power supply, improve irrigation system, add taxes, and raise employment opportunities,” he said.

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