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Mindoro power project’s completion gets OK after 5-month delay

/ 04:00 PM June 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The completion of a power project intended to prevent power shortages in southern Mindoro has finally gotten a much – needed boost after being delayed for almost five months.

The boost came in the form of a Certificate of Energy Project of National Significance (CEPNS) issued by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on June 21 to Mindoro Harvest Energy Corp. which enables it to expedite the construction and completion of its 9.7 Mw bunker C power project.

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The Department of Energy certification would enable various government agencies to expedite the license-permit process for the urgently needed project that would serve eight growing, electricity-starved municipalities in southern Mindoro.

CEPNS is issued in accordance with President Duterte’s Executive Order 30 of 2017 to enable the expeditious, rapid building and completion of vital infrastructure projects.

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Under its implementing guidelines, the certification must be issued within 30 days after submission by applicants to any government agency.

Cristina Young, president of Power One Corp., the project proponent, thanked Cusi for the swift issuance of the CEPNS for Mindoro Harvest Energy satellite plant.

Cusi had learned that the power project had been stuck for almost five months at the DOE’s Power Bureau.

Joy Najito, Mindoro Harvest Energy project liaison and licensing officer, said Cusi’s action resolved the impasse over the allowed installed capacity for the new power project as well as payment for “extra capacity” fees.

Mindoro Harvest will be paid only for energy actually delivered and used by the local cooperative under its current power supply agreement, Najito added.

Because of the delay, the local electric coop Ormeco will have to continue buying the expected approximate 1.5 million kwh a month output of Mindoro Harvest plant if it operated as originally planned, from more expensive temporary power generators at an estimated higher cost and missionary subsidy to the government of P4.5 million a month or P22.5 million for the five-month holdback, Najito said.

The Mindoro Harvest Energy Corp. applied for the CEPNS in January 2019 and, based on EO 30, had hoped to secure it in February to enable the company to start construction in April and meet its target completion of August or September this year, Najito said.

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With the CEPNS, Brian Ani, Mindoro Harvest chief project engineer, said the company hopes to secure construction permits by the end of July, start construction in August, and complete the power plant by January or February of 2020.

The southern half of Oriental Mindoro, which consists of eight towns from Socorro to Pinamalayan, the RoRo gateway of Roxas, and up to Bulalacao, has been suffering from continuous brownouts since a typhoon in December 2016 devastated the transmission lines that supply power to the south from Calapan City in the North where most of the province’s power plants are located.

Local electric coop Ormeco had long wanted to build permanent power plants in Southern Mindoro to prevent debilitating power interruptions.

Much of its service area is still being served by small power generators and engines whose power supply capability are unstable and expensive. (Editor: Abel Ulanday)

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TAGS: Alfonso Cusi, Department of Energy, Mindoro Harvest Energy Corp., news, power project, Regions, Southern Mindoro
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