By Janina C. Lim, June 16 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Business World

THE Department of Energy (DoE) has designated Palawan capacity addition and transmission projects proposed by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) as energy projects of national significance (EPNS), a milestone that allows for expedited approvals for such projects.

In a statement, Napocor said the DoE’s Energy Investment Coordination Council (EICC) granted the certificate to the Palawan island service delivery improvement projects which consisted of capacity additions to eight plants under the small power utilities group (SPUG) and the installation of new generating sets in 18 new areas with an aggregate capacity of 5.3 megawatts.

The projects where capacity will be augmented include diesel power plants in Agutaya, Araceli, Balabac, Cagayancillo, Culion, Cuyo, Linapacan and Rizal.

The areas where new power facilities will be established are four areas of Taytay, as well as two locations each in Cuyo, Coron, Linapacan, and Balabac. The municipalities of Araceli, Culion, Agutaya, El Nido, Busuanga, and San Vicente will also host new power facilities.

Another EPNS certificate was issued to Napocor’s Palawan grid development projects which include nine transmission and substation projects.

These are the Brooke’s Point to Bataraza transmission line of approximately 28 kilometers; the Taytay to El Nido transmission line, about 60.9 kilometers; the Alimanguhan Switching Station project; the Alimanguhan Switching Station and transmission line to San Vicente, around 20 kilometers; the Bataraza substation project; the Brooke’s Point substation expansion project, and substations in El Nido, San Vicente and Taytay.

“These transmission line projects will complete the backbone transmission system of the province, and strengthen power reliability and stability,” Napocor President and CEO Pio J. Benavidez was quoted as saying in the statement.

Napocor noted that Palawan, the fifth-largest island in the Philippines, requires several projects to ensure a secure power supply.

“With the priority status from EICC–DoE, we hope to expedite the bidding, awarding and implementation process of the said projects,” Mr. Benavidez said.

Early this year, Napocor secured EPNS status for 23 projects in various off-grid areas.

The EICC was created through Executive Order 30 which aims to harmonize and streamline the regulatory processes for critical energy projects. — Janina C. Lim